Graduation day at Barking and Dagenham college

A graduation ceremony was held for 30 adults with learning difficulties who had earned qualifications in horticulture and management at Barking and Dagenham College on Friday.

Working with the Osborne Partnership, which offers training and work opportunities to people with learning difficulties, the students gained the qualification after studying part time at the college on Dagenham Road..

Ian Wall, deputy manager of the Osborne Partnership said: “The ceremony today was to celebrate what the learners have achieved. It has been brilliant. Some other students have also left here after finishing their courses and managed to find jobs suited to them, which is great.”

One learner, Krisi Hill, 18, had recently finished a horticultural course and is soon starting a course as part of the Top Textile Recycling project. He explained: “There are lots of people here to help and support you, and they are lovely.” His brother, Kane, also 18, on the same course added: “I really like it here and I enjoyed the course. The people are always really nice and friendly.” Since starting the course in 2010, and attending every Monday and Friday.

Another learner, Brian Gillett had just received certificates for a Health and Safety course, for which he attended every Wednesday and Friday.

He said: “The staff are very supportive and friendly. They always put themselves forward to help anyone. I loved the course, and if I had the chance to come back again, I definitely would. I think the Osborne Partnership needs more support and funding in order to help more people in the community.”