The new Food Technology room at the Victoria School & Specialist Arts College in Birmingham image

Staff and students at the Victoria School & Specialist Arts College in Birmingham can now all enjoy cookery lessons thanks to Ropox, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of accessible kitchen and bathroom equipment, and Adam Thomas, who worked together to design and install a new Food Technology room 2019.

The school is a PMLD (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties) unit which caters for children from the age of two through to 19 with a complex range of conditions from the Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell and Worcester areas.

Kate Hale, English and DT Coordinator at the Victoria School & Specialist Arts College, explained: “While our previous food tech room was adequate it was not fully accessible which meant a large number of our students were unable to actively take part in lessons.

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“However, thanks to Ropox and Adam Thomas we now have four sinks and three hobs all of which are mounted within Ropox electric height adjustable worktops which can be operated independently and offer plenty of leg space underneath.

“This means that regardless of whether a student is in a wheelchair, uses a walking aid or can stand independently they can all cook food on the hobs and get involved in the washing up at whatever level is best for their balance and reach which is brilliant for their education, confidence and self-esteem.”

The new Food Technology room at the Victoria School & Specialist Arts College in Birmingham imageComplementing the height-adjustable worktops are four Ropox electric height-adjustable table frames which can be easily moved around the room and are used by the students and staff for food preparation and eating. The worktops and tables are available in both electric and manual versions.

The linear design of the Ropox worktops, which can all be adjusted independently, allows more than one student to work in the same area at one time and staff can help from the left- or the right-hand sides of each student. The worktops have a 300mm height adjustment which provides a worktop height range of 690mm to 990mm, making them suitable for almost every student, regardless of their level of mobility and height.

The students have all been impressed with the new kitchen equipment as 18-year-old  Taylor Johnson, who is studying for a BTEC in home cooking skills, explained:  “I think the new kitchen is much more suitable especially for people in wheelchairs, I love using it and it is much better than the old kitchen as we can move the worktops up and down and reach the taps, sinks and cooker controls ourselves.  The tables are brilliant as well, we made pizzas last week and that would have been impossible without the tables as we were able to change the heights so we could all get involved in the preparation. We love our new kitchen!”.

The school also operates a café which is run by the students with the help of staff.  The café is open to everyone at the school and all the food sold there, such as sausage rolls, cakes and pastries, is prepared by the students in the kitchen as part of their ongoing education plan, which would not be possible without the new worktops and tables.

The new Food Technology room at the Victoria School & Specialist Arts College in Birmingham image

Kate concluded: “For our students, performing tasks independently such as prepare food, turn on the taps, alter the height of the worktops and tables, use the hobs and wash up are huge achievements.  These steps also form a vital part of their education care plan which sets out what they will be able to do when they leave us and what support they will need.

“Since the students have started using the new kitchens and getting more involved, several parents have commented that their children now ask to be involved in cooking at home which is great to hear.  On behalf of all the staff and students, I would like to thank Ropox and Adam Thomas and I would not hesitate in recommending them to other schools looking for accessible kitchen equipment.”

For more information on the full range of accessible kitchen and bathroom solutions available from Ropox visit: www.ropox.com call 07831 401118 or email pd@ropox.com

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