A NEW day service for adults with learning disabilities and complex needs is to open in Alexandria at the beginning October.

The former Job Centre Plus on Bank Street, which closed in August 2009, is currently being repurposed with facilities including a sensory room, IT suite and adapted kitchen where users can learn cooking skills.

It is predicted the service will cater for between 20 to 30 people at a time, and will provide activities both within and outside the building which have been tailored to suit the needs of individuals.

The centre will be run by Academy House Services, which currently operates a similar centre in Glasgow.

Amanda McLachlan, the new centre manager says the facility is much needed in the area.

She told the Reporter: “We are going to be dealing with adults with complex needs and autism. The area needs it.

“A lot of providers are doing support work out in the community, but that doesn’t work for a lot of individuals because everyone is different.

“We started because our company director Amer Iqbal’s brother has physical and learning disabilities, and when Amer was looking for a service for him, he realised there wasn’t great deal out there suited his needs.

“Our Glasgow service has since been built up over a few years and is very busy. We then started to look at other places.

“The current service in Dumbarton is overflowing and that meant this was the right place because we are needed down here.

“In Dumbarton, they have day service, but it’s not specific to a need and there is only one centre for people with complex needs, autism and addiction. Everyone uses that service, but we will tailor ours to people with a learning disability.”

The opening of the centre will also bring a number of jobs to the area, with the company looking to recruit locally.

Amanda added: “We will be looking at recruiting locally, preferably. How many we do will depend on the number of people who use service and what their needs are.

“We are hoping for 20 to 30 service users, so we would match that with staff. Over a period of time, we will have a better idea because we know it will take time for people to use the service.

“We do have a staff member who started in the Glasgow service, who is from Dumbarton, and she will transfer over and we will be looking for people to fill roles in support work, admin, cleaning - a variety of different people.”

The company will be holding an opening day in October, inviting families and local politicians, where they will have staff and management on hand to answer any questions, give a tour of the service and show people what they have on offer.

For more information visit academyhouseservices.com.