Real people’s successes rewarded at Barking and Dagenham ceremony

PUBLISHED: 13:00 13 February 2015

Mayor Elizabeth Kangethe with some of the winners

Mayor Elizabeth Kangethe with some of the winners


A mum-of-ten who has returned to work after 40 years was among the winners at an awards ceremony celebrating people who have transformed their lives thanks to help from services accessed in the Barking Learning Centre.

Rachel Williams, 58, was one of 37 winners at the Real People, Real Stories ceremony on Wednesday.

Each of those recognised at the presentation, organised by the council in partnership with Barking and Dagenham College, the University of East London, and Barking job shop, were presented with a certificate and a £20 Waterstones voucher.

Rachel, who lives in Thames Ward, joined the job shop for support into employment and initally became a volunteer befriender and support worker to help pursue her dream of working in a residential home.

She then took a health and social care course before being successful in gaining a job as a care worker in November last year.

Other winners included Adisti Ika Wardhani, who found it hard to connect with the area after her family moved to London 15 years ago.

Through becoming a volunteer at Barking library, she has made several friends and is also enjoying the benefits of the free membership at Abbey Sports Centre which she receives as a result of volunteering.

Sanije Buzhala, who fled to the UK after war broke out in Kosovo, was another winner. She has been helped to assess her job options as her qualifications are not recognised in the UK.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “It was an honour to be a part of such a wonderful evening and to hear such touching and inspirational stories.

“I think what came through really strongly was that with a bit of support people can achieve great things that can help improve their lives.”

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