Barking and Dagenham residents recognised at awards ceremony

18th February 2015

Barking and Dagenham residents have received special acknowledgement at the Real People, Real Stories awards ceremony.

The annual awards celebrate local people and their achievements resulting from services accessed in the Barking Learning Centre. The ceremony, organised by the Council in partnership with Barking & Dagenham College, the University of East London, and Barking Job Shop, was attended by over 80 people including Her Worshipful the Mayor, Councillor Elizabeth Kangethe and Councillor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council.

Darren Allen, 25, Adam Watson, 23, and Richard Hampshire, 33 all from Dagenham along with Gregory Pain, 56, and Krisztina Nagy, 48 from Barking, each won awards after being nominated by Barking & Dagenham College, which runs courses from the learning centre. Each winner was presented with a certificate and a £20 Waterstones gift voucher.

Utilising the Barking Learning Centre has given Adam Watson a new found confidence. Barking & Dagenham College staff at the centre helped him to complete an employability course which gave him the confidence he needed to apply for a retail job. In fact, he did more than apply – he was offered the job at T M Lewin in Westfield Stratford, a job which he really enjoys!

Adam is not the only one who has gained employment since visiting the learning centre though. Darren is now working as a driver’s mate with DHL having completed his course, something he credits the College for, whilst Richard, who with the help of the College gained a Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) card which must be achieved in order to apply for work in the construction industry, is now working as a labourer on a very busy building site.

For Krisztina, using the College’s services in the Barking Learning Centre has helped her learn English. She is now even helping the tutors in other English language classes that are run.

She says:

“I’ve really enjoyed meeting all the students and learning English. Enrolling on a class with Barking & Dagenham College at the centre was the best thing I ever did.”

Theresa Crossley, Business Innovation & Enterprise lead tutor at Barking & Dagenham College based at the Barking Learning Centre said:

“I’m immensely proud of all the winners. It takes courage and determination to decide to start learning and help yourself into employment and these people have shown this and are now well on their way to career success. They are real role models and I wish them the best of luck for their futures.”

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