On Thursday 18th January, Community Connect Foundation (CCF), celebrated the successful achievements of more than 150 learners who had successfully achieved a wide range of functional and vocational qualifications such as Work Skills, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Food Safety, Duke of Edinburgh ( D of E) awards to name a few. The “Achieving Together” programme funded by Big Lottery commenced in April 2015 with the aim of building capacity of local people by delivering skills training and employability programmes – thereby improving confidence, reducing isolation and improving their economic wellbeing. Since then, in excess of 400 people were engaged in a wide range of skills and capacity development activities.
We were delighted to have welcomed The Worshipful, the Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Ahmadul Haque MBE alongside The Mayoress, Mrs Surma Haque, Councillor Steve Eling, Leader of Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Councillor Syeda Khatun MBE, Deputy Leader, John Spellar MP and St. Pauls ward’s Councillor Zahoor Ahmed who kindly presented learners with certificates and outstanding achievement awards.
The service users highly acknowledged Community Connect Foundation’s support towards the community and its members through developing their skills to enhance their employability, confidence and to help prevent social deprivation.
MP John Spellar said ‘Community based organisations like CCF are exactly what we need, especially for individuals who are unable to attend formal education in colleges due to factors such as travel and childcare’.
Leader of Sandwell Councill Councillor Steve Eling said “It is an honour to be here today to celebrate the achievements of so many learners at CCF. Having witnessed the growth of CCF since its inception 18 years ago, it is inspiring to see the persistent dedication and enthusiasm in up-skilling the local community. Well done to CCF and their dedicated staff members who have been continuing their efforts to making positive difference in the community”.
Smethwick has one of the most diverse communities in the West Midlands conurbation and has a particularly youthful profile. Unemployment is much higher than that of the UK average and skill levels tend to be low. Vocational courses help to address these issues by supporting people to develop their skills, gain qualifications and improve employment prospects.
Bashir Ahmed MBE, the Chairperson of CCF congratulated all the learners for their outstanding achievements. He expressed his gratitude to all the guests and members of the community for their attendance and continued backing throughout the year. He also acknowledged the support CCF received from a wide range of funders, Colleges and organisations in delivering so many learning provisions for the local community.
Volunteer Suraiya Bahar said ‘the courses and skills development activities held at Community Connect Foundation (CCF) have provided me with numerous opportunities to do lots of new fun and exciting courses and has really helped me build my confidence. The staff listen to our needs and are always willing to cater courses to what we would like to do’.
Community Connect Foundation also awarded service users who have done exceptionally well throughout their learning and development journey at CCF. Our dedicated volunteers also presented guests with handmade sweet baskets and gifts to show appreciation in attending the celebration event.