Sadiq Khan MP visited Linden Lodge School in Southfields, as part of Deafblind Awareness Week - to celebrate the opening of the new ‘Alba Centre’, a new specialist Centre within Linden Lodge School, and to demand more be done to support young Deafblind people in Wandsworth.
There are currently 4,000 Deafblind children in the UK and 36 Deafblind children in Wandsworth alone. Linden Lodge School provides education and support for more than 150 children with a range of visual impairments.
As part of the visit, Sadiq and other guests were invited to experience a number of activities designed to provide a small insight into what life is like for a child who is Deafblind. With their sight and hearing abilities taken away, visitors were able to experience how everyday tasks like eating and drinking are much more daunting and difficult for Deafblind people.
During his visit, Sadiq spoke to parents, teachers and support workers about the important work the school does in supporting children from Wandsworth and beyond.
As the Government continues to make cuts to valuable local services, often affecting the most vulnerable members of society, Sadiq reassured parents and carers that he would work hard to continue to raise the profile of the needs of Deafblind children, and support the school in any way he can.
Sadiq Khan MP said,
“Linden Lodge is a centre of excellence that we should be very proud to have in our community. I found my visit to Linden Lodge both inspiring and humbling. The activities I took part in only gave me a tiny insight into what it must be like to be Deafblind, and I have the upmost admiration and respect for all the children and their families.
“The staff, parents and governors at Linden Lodge are doing a wonderful job in Wandsworth and we are lucky to have such a successful school on our doorstep.
“In these difficult economic times it is imperative that Deafblind children continue to receive the financial support they need from the Government and the Council. That’s why I will be working hard with staff and parents at the school to make sure they continue to get the support they need.
“We need our community to be more Deafblind aware not just one week of the year, but all year round.”
Ashling Barve, local parent said,
"To mark the opening of “The Alba Centre for Deafblind/MSI Children”, we took part in Deafblind Awareness Week and made our own contribution to raising awareness of the issues people face every day when living with Deafblindness and MSI.
“The Alba Centre is a vital provision to us as a family. It offers our Deafblind daughter appropriate access to education within in an environment where her unique needs are understood and the staff have the qualifications and training to meet her complex requirements".