Lakes College West Cumbria
The Lakes College scheme "Stay West" has won the 2013 CN Group Golden Apple ‘Against All Odds’ award. The exemplary practice in further education has transformed opportunities for learners with learning disabilities within the local community.
The inclusive approach has empowered a diverse group of learners to overcome a wide range of exceptional challenges in order to gain quality work placements, enabling them to gain confidence, enhance their communication skills and self-esteem and for many, progress into employment or further education. Students who have taken part in the project have benefitted from the following:
The Stay West Project was established after recognising the need to create a broader range of work opportunities for young people with learning disabilities in the local area. The project successfully gained 3 years’ worth of Big Lottery funding in January 2012 and to date 45 out of a target of 70 beneficiaries have been involved in the project which operates throughout West Cumbria (Copeland and Allerdale). In addition to this, a further two years’ funding was attracted via the Copeland Community Fund in August 2012, with an additional 8 out of a target of 21 Copeland beneficiaries who have been engaged to date.
The Stay West approach is informed by Lakes College’s experience in working with people with learning disabilities in improving their access to and appreciation of the world of work. In particular, we have learned just how important is the link between a beneficiary’s interests, preferences, aptitude and abilities. Here the beneficiary is encouraged to take the lead in deciding on the type of placement they feel is most suitable; in terms of work area, location and the particular employer. The principle of inclusion is firmly embedded in Stay West’s approach. Beneficiaries are invited to sit on the project steering committee, where they are encouraged to contribute ideas and suggestions of how the project could be improved.
Before a placement commences participants are encouraged to engage fully with the employing organisation – researching background information, learning about the employer and maintaining a diary of their activities throughout their placement. This approach has empowered learners to solve their own challenges, make their own choices and to make a contribution to their local community.
A number of beneficiaries are gaining from the knowledge that their work within the project is helping other disadvantaged people. We have people working in: elderly care homes, animal care, others supporting facilities for people with physical and learning disabilities, recycling centres and emergency food centres. The results from these activities can be seen in improved levels of confidence and self-awareness in the beneficiaries and, of course, in the benefits to the respective community services they are helping to bring about.
We strongly believe our Stay West project deserves the Golden Apple ‘Against All Odds’ award and recognition are proud of all the individuals and employers who have overcome exceptional challenges to be involved in the project to date.
The Level Five Diploma in Applied Human Resources Starts January 8th 2014.
This is your last chance to apply for the Level 5 qualification in Applied Human Resources, which begins on Wednesday 8th January 2014. Accreditation from the professional body can increase the employability and earning potential for individuals working or trying to build a career in the human resources industry. The college is in the final stages of accreditation with CIPD to provide these fantastic courses.
Course Leader, Jolene Lowe has been working with the CIPD to bring these courses to Lakes College. She comments, “CIPD accredited courses are high quality qualifications. Learners will gain the essential underpinning knowledge of managing employees and dealing with the associated human resource management challenges. Both CIPD courses equip learners with the skills, knowledge and confidence to become a versatile, innovative and, above all, successful HR practitioners’”
The level five qualification is also be available as a higher apprenticeship.
To find about more about these courses for yourself or your employees contact Monica Costelloe on 01946 839300 or email
Lakes College will be offering two courses:
These courses are subject to final centre accreditation.
Acclaimed mountaineer Stephen Venables visited Lakes College recently as the guest speaker at one of the college's successful mountain lecture series.
Stephen is one of the best known mountaineers of this generation and the first British man to climb Mount Everest without the aid of supplementary oxygen. Venables' lecture covered his own story and that of legendary Himalayan mountaineer Eric Shipton.
Shipton was one of the greatest mountain explorers of the 20th century who dedicated his life exploring untouched mountain ranges and took part in five expeditions to Everest.
"Through his own experiences, I was able to appreciate the dangers, hardships and the challenges that mountaineers face" said Roy Lewis, Egremont, who attended the lecture.
This was the third of the college's popular mountain lectures. Previous speakers have included Simon Yates, John Porter and Doug Scott CBE. The next speaker will be writer, broadcaster and historian Julie Summers, great niece of missing mountaineer Sandy Irvine who perished on Everest in 1924.
Summers will recount one of the most exciting stories linked to Mount Everest, the disappearance of George Mallory and her great uncle Sandy Irvine on their fateful expedition in 1924.
Julies lecture takes place at Lakes College on Thursday 10th October 2013 at 7pm. Tickets cost £12 or £7.50 for Lakes College students.
NOTE FOR EDITORS:
After the success of last year's ruby league team we are pleased to announce the new fixtures starting this autumn.
Lakes College will be competing in the North West Premier Division again and students who are interested in playing should look out for more information in September.
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