Wigan adults with learning disabilities have celebrated a huge milestone after gaining several qualifications which will set them up for independent living.
Steps CIC, a service for disabled adults based in Ince, has marked its second annual “Open Awards” evening to recognise the hard work put in by its users.
Around 100 people attended the ceremony at Rose Bridge Community Club including carers, parents and staff, to see the 35 students receive their accredited awards in subjects ranging from washing and valeting a car to preparing a piece of art.
Wigan Warriors player Taulima Tautai attended the evening, handing out the awards.
“He was absolutely fantastic,” said Terry Mann, founder and director of Steps. “The whole evening was brilliant. Everyone has worked so hard. There were 35 people getting around 80 certifications.
“We have worked on these awards over the past year. Many of the people who come to us want to live independently, others want to build their CV. These awards are all about developing skills and enabling people to do their own decision-making.”
Steps CIC provides activities and qualification opportunities for adults with a variety of special educational needs.
Since being accredited by the Open Awards, an Ofqual-approved awarding organisation, the centre offers the opportunity to gain five qualifications.
Jackie Kennedy, day service manager, said: “On top of these qualifications, we celebrated some special achievements.
"We have worked with the service users one-to-one over the past 12 months so we wanted to recognise where they have built confidence, when they have taken control of things themselves. We are very, very proud of them. Each and every one of them has worked so hard to get to this stage.”
As well as their awards, attendees received a photograph album as a keepsake to share with family and friends showcasing their skills, interests and achievements to date.
Guests were treated to an evening of live entertainment with performances from Michaele Whinnett.
Jackie added: “It was another magnificent evening of success and celebration for all those who attend STEPScic with a wonderful, relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere which created an unforgettable evening for all those who attended.”