Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Now We Go Forward with Hope for Future; Learning Centre Hailed

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Now We Go Forward with Hope for Future; Learning Centre Hailed

Article excerpt

Byline: By JOANNA DESIRA

STAFF and learners are celebrating after their education centre was praised by Government inspectors for the equal opportunities it offers.

The Hope Foundation, in Middlesbrough, is a charity which specialises in helping learners from vulnerable backgrounds, including ex-offenders, people with physical or mental health problems, asylum seekers and the homeless.

It offers courses in literacy, numeracy, information technology and English for speakers of other languages.

It celebrated its success with a special end-of-term event and certificate presentation for students attended by Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon.

The Hope Foundation was judged overall to be good and the report added "equality of opportunity is excellent."

It said learners were treated with respect and understanding.

Staff are from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and use their experience well. The report added:

"Many learners begin at the centre with little confidence in their abilities, and with the sensitive and helpful support of the staff they achieve well."

Sue Kearney, foundation chief executive, said: "The Ofsted result of outstanding Grade 1 for equality of opportunity and Grade 2 good across the whole of provision is a major achievement.

"It not only gives us national credibility but also recognises the quality of the valuable work we do.

"The comments of the people who attend the centre to the inspectors also gave the staff a tremendous lift.

The inclusive ethos we feel is very important in The Hope Foundation and the fact the inspectors picked this up is very satisfying."

This is our story

Veronica Stamp, 27

VERONICA, from Middlesbrough, left school with no qualifications and started work at a clothing factory at the age of 16, eventually becoming a senior supervisor. But after 10 years she was made redundant.

She said: "I have always wanted to work in admin so when it came to finding a new job I was very worried about having no qualifications to show to a new employer, and even more scared of the prospects of gaining qualifications. …

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