Petty Pool Trust Visit

On 15th January I had the privilege of visiting Petty Pool Trust, Sandiway on behalf of Powell Commercial Insurance Brokers. As a long-standing client, we have enjoyed a working relationship with the Trust for many years and I was given the opportunity to visit them at Pool Lane to see their work in action.

Initially established over thirty-four years ago, Petty Pool Trust is a charity that supports young people with learning difficulties, providing them with an education with the final aim of sourcing employment opportunities for them upon leaving the college. On my arrival I met with the director of Student Services, Nicola and the charity’s Chief Executive Peter, who explained how much the Trust has expanded since it first opened and is now split into two sites; an outdoor day centre and a residential college. The general age bracket of attending students ranges from sixteen to twenty five and currently 78% of leavers go straight into forms of employment.  I was shown around by two students called Adam and Aaron, who were very helpful in answering my questions and enthusiastic about the various classes that they have access to at Petty Pool.

On my tour around the site, I was shown the impressive outdoor centre where students can participate in activities such as kayaking and climbing. As well as being accessible to students of the college, the outdoor centre is open to local schools and youth groups, who can visit on school trips and stay over in the residential cabins. Inside the College, Adam and Aaron took me around the different classes and facilities. Students can study courses such as Horticulture, Hospitality and Catering, Retail and IT Skills and the final Leavers Group classes, which prepare students to integrate into work placements in the wider community. There is a strong focus on environmental conservation and the site greenhouse grows its own plants and vegetables, which are sold to the public and also used in the college canteen.

What struck me when walking around the site was the warm and encouraging atmosphere in every classroom. I was made very welcome as a visitor to the College and chatted to different students about their progress and various members of staff. Students with more severe disabilities participate in Independent Living Skills classes, where they are taught about hygiene, cooking for themselves and personal relationships- values that many of us take for granted and do not always appreciate. The staff at Petty Pool are extremely dedicated in supporting the young people, guiding them through their education but all the while encouraging them to make their own choices to determine their future.

I left Pool Lane feeling positive and uplifted after witnessing the fantastic work that goes on here. The range of opportunities available, combined with the support from a hard-working team of staff means that more young people can achieve their full potential in the working world.

To make any donations to Petty Pool, or for further information please email