The team at Supported Living in Gateshead are celebrating after two of the people they support attained their first college qualification.

Sam Forster was awarded an NOCN certificate for studying Leisure Activities, and Michelle Charlton took home a NCON for learning Food and Drink skills.

Both students were delighted to achieve these qualifications and staff say their tutors were impressed with their hard work and dedication.

Sam, who studied at Dryden College, has already started thinking about the next course he can to progress his learning. Following his success, the staff took him out for a day trip to celebrate.

“This is an amazing achievement for Sam and now his activity planner is full of fun-filled activities,” said Tara Duncan, deputy manager at Supported Living.

“During his time at college, Sam made new friends and learned new skills, which as helping him become more confident in other tasks. He’s continued to use his new-found skills to thrive in his life.”

Michelle’s course introduced her to new food skills. She completed modules in Basic Cooking, Basic Food Preparation and Cooking and Food, Drink and Cooking. The course contributed to her NOCN Entry Level Award in Skills for Employment, Training and Personal Development.

“Michelle was so happy at receiving this certificate she was jumping around and wouldn’t let go of it all day,” said Tara.

“It was a particular achievement for Michelle because at one point she wouldn’t stay more than 10 minutes in her class because of her anxieties. She chose to celebrate in style and go to her favourite Italian restaurant and had a three-course meal.”

Sam and Michelle’s achievements will be used to inspire other people supported by Swanton teams to participate in learning opportunities. There are so many interesting courses to explore a variety of different subjects that help the people we support to develop new skills and boost their wellbeing.