A CENTRE built to teach life skills to pupils at a Poole school was officially opened in September.

The Coates Centre at Winchelsea School in Guernsey Road was opened by the Mayor of Poole, Cllr Julie Bagwell on Friday, September 3.

The centre, named after a long serving member of staff, is designed to provide pupils and the wider community with real life learning experiences in a "supportive and purpose-built" environment.

Winchelsea PTA member, Lucy Clarke said: "The life skills base will offer the students at Winchelsea a fantastic opportunity to learn vital self care and home skills and gain greater independence in a safe and accessible way.

"It will be a huge asset to the school and will make a real difference to the students both during their time at Winchelsea, and as importantly in later life.

"The Friends of Winchelsea PTA is proud to have assisted in the provision of such a worthwhile project."

The centre is a replica of rooms inside the home and comprises of a kitchen, dining area, toilet/shower room, lounge and bedroom.

This learning environment provides opportunities to practice everyday life skills, including food preparation, cleaning, tidying, care of clothing, managing household tools and repairs, health and safety, personal hygiene and money management skills.

The building of the centre was supported with donations from the Wolfson Foundation, BCP Council, Friends of Winchelsea PTA and Amphibious Lodge Wimborne.