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DAVID WARD

We do not know anyone's story until we spend time listening to their story.

"They just don't get it".

A phrase that many parents use when people struggle to understand their child and their child's behaviours and individuality. 


By the time I was 15, I was disillusioned by school and I was looking to get away from it at the first opportunity I could. Luckily for me an opportunity came along in the guise of an apprenticeship as a baker. So I left high school with no qualifications and the feeling that school had served no purpose in my young life.  I had not been listened to, I had been called lazy and a trouble maker. I had not been diagnosed with anything other than "he should try harder". Little did they know how hard I had been trying for years. No one tried to connect with me to find my barriers to learning, to find my issues with formal education.


We do not know anyone's story until we spend time listening to their story. 

 I am first and foremost a family man who wants the best not only for his own family but all families and young people.


I now have had over twenty years experience and success in the classroom where I have managed to deliver positive experiences for the young people I taught.  I found I could tap into a young person's motivation where perhaps they had previously found school a challenge they now enjoyed coming to school. However, many people within education I met did not seem to recognise the value and motivational power of a young person's happiness.  All too often I  found unmotivated, unhappy young people still being described  as disruptive, badly behaved, lazy...a similar story to the words I remembered from my own school life. 


 I decided to try and make a difference in a wider arena and  applied for promoted posts within education. I was successful and eventually became a Primary School head teacher and enjoyed working in a more strategic position within the local authority.  However, frustration in reaching to the heart of young people’s issues grew.


Throughout this time I got married and had a family of my own. I have a daughter and a son.  My son has a diagnosis of ASD and ADHD and although this has at times been an incredibly difficult struggle for both us as a family, and more importantly for my son, it is also amazing and life enhancing. 


Both my children are unique and special and I have grown in my belief that there is no such thing as the norm, we are all different and deserve to have those differences celebrated and understood. Not just understood but accepted, in fact accepted as the norm. The norm is, in fact, that we are all different. 


The Learning Space was born out of all this. I resigned from my position as Head Teacher and with the support of my family took the step into creating a new space where I could put all my experience and empathy into helping and supporting the young people who, through no fault of their own find school and sometimes life, a challenge.

 

THE BAKEHOUSE

A recent converstion of the Old Bakehouse in Gavinton has created an additional space for larger scale projects such as artworks, woodwork, film making and cookery.

We have also added a sensory space for our young people to enjoy and to support children who may have sensory issues.  We have renovated and reinstated the old Scotch ovens within our Bakehouse and we now have a large working bread oven which can be used to bake bread and pizzas.

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TRUSTEES

The Learning Space is a registered Scottish charity and, as such, is governed by a Board of Trustees.  Our current board is made up of

  • Chairperson - Robbie Broomfield

  • Secretary - Clare O’Gorman

  • Treasurer - Suzanne Broomfield

  • Member of the board - Patricia Hamilton


The Trustees are involved in any decisions made around the running of the charity and meet regularly.  The Trustees are all volunteers who care passionately about the young people we work with and about the work we do here. 

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