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College ceremony celebrates vulnerable learners

By Gary Lawrence

ST VINCENT COLLEGE have celebrated the achievements of learners who have overcome barriers including addiction, homelessness, and mental health issues at a special ceremony event; which was attended by staff and students alike at the Buckland Community Centre in Portsmouth.

The Gosport education facility has worked with the Society of St James, which supports vulnerable adults, to help learners rebuild their lives through the use of education and other avenues of help. College tutor and assessor, Tara Walton, stated: “Many of our learners have not been in  education since school and have encountered many barriers to learning.

The team at the Adult Community College, along with the Society of St James. in particular Paul Allen and Jim Cook at Re-fit, work with these learners to support them in finding their way through a variety of accredited qualifications. We are immensely proud of every single person and wanted to celebrate their many achievements.”

Guests included Portsmouth’s Lord Mayor Cllr Tom Coles and his wife Nikki, whilst Gosport Mayor Cllr Martin Pepper furthermore was in attendance. They were joined by family members and friends of the teenagers with plenty of smiles / laughter from all.

A buffet of food and drink was then held with speeches from the guests adding to a joyful atmosphere, whilst learners were then given the chance to have their photographs taken in graduation caps and gowns to celebrate all of their achievement.

Tara said that this event was an emotional and uplifting occasion as she stated: “Many of our learners are now in paid employment or voluntary roles giving back to the community and supporting others. For some, they have stayed with us and continue to learn, develop, and grow.”

Readers can find out more information by visiting; including how to apply for courses at the Adult Community Centre.

PICTURED: Learners, families, and college staff join invited guests at the celebration event at Buckland Community Centre in Portsmouth.