A NEW facility for school leavers and young adults with autism and additional support needs (ASN) has opened in Musselburgh.

Edge Group Scotland Ltd – a specialist support service for young autistic and ASN adults aged 18 to 35 – acquired premises at Eskmills which are dedicated to its supported day services.

East Lothian Courier: The new day services facility at EskmillsThe new day services facility at Eskmills

Samantha Roberts, managing director for Edge Group Scotland Ltd, said: “It is about autistic and ASN young adults improving social success, meeting new friends, having fun and learning essential life skills.

“Taking part in outdoor sports and activities in supported, safe environments lets our young people achieve greatness and builds the confidence needed to continue their path to independence.”

East Lothian Courier: Classroom space inside the new day services buildingClassroom space inside the new day services building

ASN teachers, social workers and parents are invited to the 2024 intake open day tomorrow (Friday) from 2pm to 6pm, which will give them a chance to tour the new facility and find out more about the day services on offer.

All the services are paid for using a mixture of sources but the “overwhelming majority” are funded by clients’ local authority through their support package.

A spokesperson for Edge Group Scotland said: “Since the social care crisis began, Edge Group Scotland has been working hard to find ways to offer the same Edge quality but at better prices.

“Increasingly aware of the financial pressures on local authorities, partners in the NHS and, most importantly, clients and their families, multiple changes have been made to the business and its offering.

East Lothian Courier: The new day services buildingThe new day services building

“Edge found an increasing number of young people being forced down post-school pathways that are not the best fit for them, often setting them up for failure, so introducing a holistic, vocational, supported day service for ASN school leavers was the next logical step in the provision of high-quality but cost-effective support services.”

A full-time, specialist-supported day programme for school leavers with ASN who need a “more holistic, vocational approach” to support their transition to adulthood was launched last August, initially operating from the Fisherrow Centre in Musselburgh.

This Transitions Programme has been described by Edge as “truly transformative – building confidence, gaining essential life skills, getting outdoors, staying active and, most importantly, gaining independence”.

East Lothian Courier: The new day services buildingThe new day services building

Due to its success, the Life Programme, launched last month, is a part-time supported day service for 18 to 35-year-olds with ASN that delivers opportunities to develop real-life independence while supporting them to “mature in the world around them”.

Both programmes focus on sport, outdoor activities and learning, bespoke planning, cooking for independence, employability, volunteering and travel training.

Visit edgeautism.com/2024-intake-open-day to find out more about the open day and register attendance.