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Project helps Sunderland’s homeless move on

Tutor Sonia Ritchie-Park, from Brightsparks Training and on the right, Christine Ritchie, manager of Swan Lodge in Sunderland, winners of a Learning Life Skills Project Regional Award.

Tutor Sonia Ritchie-Park, from Brightsparks Training and on the right, Christine Ritchie, manager of Swan Lodge in Sunderland, winners of a Learning Life Skills Project Regional Award.

HOMELESS people are moving on thanks to an award-winning new project.

Based at the Salvation Army’s Swan Lodge lifehouse in Sunderland, the Tenancy Achievement Project teaches residents how to live independently.

Now the hard work of tutor Sonia Ritchie-Park has been marked with a Learning Life Skills Project Regional Award, handed out as part of celebrations to mark Adult Learners’ Week earlier this month.

The course, run by Brightsparks Training, offers residents the chance to brush up their domestic skills, such as cooking, ironing and budgeting, through fun sessions, like Ready Steady Cook-style cookery competitions.

They are also given a chance to improve their CVs, with qualifications in maths and English and opportunities to join work placements and volunteering.

More than 60 homeless people have taken part in the project in the last 18 months.

Many have now moved into their own homes and are finally off the streets for good, while others have gone onto university, full time employment and voluntary work.

Run by NIACE (National Institute of Adult Continuing Education), Adult Learners’ Week celebrates the power of life-long learning.

David Hughes, NIACE chief executive, said: “The achievements of all of this year’s award winners are incredible. Their stories prove that lifelong learning makes a huge contribution to a vibrant and prosperous society and a healthy and growing economy.

“I am sure that the support that winning projects like this one have offered their learners, and the success it has enjoyed as a result, will inspire more people to get into learning and help achieve their goals.”

To find out more about Adult Learners’ Week log onto www.alw.org.uk.

 

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