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Decade of life-changing West Suffolk College course is celebrated

PUBLISHED: 21:45 10 January 2018 | UPDATED: 21:45 10 January 2018

The Prince's Trust team celebrated ten years of the course at West Suffolk College with former students. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COLLEGE

The Prince's Trust team celebrated ten years of the course at West Suffolk College with former students. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COLLEGE

Archant

A decade of a life-changing course at West Suffolk College has been celebrated with a number of former students returning for a special tea party.

Ola Anderson speaks at the celebration. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COLLEGEOla Anderson speaks at the celebration. Picture: WEST SUFFOLK COLLEGE

More than 300 students have completed the Prince’s Trust TEAM programme in the past ten years and £12,000 has been raised for the local community in that time.

The course is an intensive 12-week personal development programme for young people aged between 16 and 25, helping them to develop and improve in areas such as confidence, motivation, and leadership.

Among those attending the party were Dominic Crowhurst, 29, from Bury St Edmunds, who had been in care and in a children’s home.

He said: “I say do the course, it’s worth every minute. It made me feel appreciated and I am so grateful”.

Jess Gardner, 22, from Lavenham, was only on a course at the beginning of last year having been in and out of jobs.

Her mother encouraged her to join the Prince’s Trust and she now has a job in a dog creche and is enjoying it.

She said: “It helped me by boosting my confidence and taught me to be resilient and persevere through the bad times.”

Katrina Vingre, from Sudbury, came over from Latvia when she was 15, struggled with GCSEs in a new country and ended up unemployed for a year.

When her course finished, she became an assistant manager at Prezzo in Sudbury. Now the 24-year-old is excited about being assistant manager at a new branch of Budgens supermarket in Long Melford.

She said: “Prince’s Trust gave me confidence and I was able to take the lead and run a restaurant when a manager was not there. Now I am starting from scratch in a new store with new staff. I am so grateful to Prince’s Trust, without them it would not have been so easy.”

Ola Anderson, head of proactive education, said; “We are grateful here at the college to be able to offer the Prince’s Trust TEAM programme as deliver partners for the last 10 years.

“The 12-week learning journey has made a significant impact in our young people’s lives towards post programme success and wellbeing in further and higher education, employment, plus family and friendships.

“Thank you to all the college staff, support workers, local organisations and employers who have all contributed to making a difference for our youth.”

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