Dearne youngsters toast their achievements with certificates

Youngster pick up their awards at the Dearne Valley Personal Development Centre.
Youngster pick up their awards at the Dearne Valley Personal Development Centre.

Dearne youngsters who have become disengaged with mainstream education have been rewarded with certificates for completing alternative training courses.

The group of hard-working young people received certificates for completing NCFE courses - which are the equivalent of A-Levels - at the Dearne Valley Personal Development Centre in Mexborough.

They received their awards at the fourth annual celebration evening since the centre was set up in 2012.

Students picked up their certificates on Thursday, June 30, from special guests Mexborough councillor Sean Gibbons, charity marathon runner Tommy Joyce MBE and Jim Walton, of centre supporters J P Walton & Son Transport. Others guests included representatives from the organisation which refers the students and schools’ representatives.

Guests also had the chance to view the art work produced by students during this academic year which included, paintings, t-shirt printing, garment construction and 3D sculpture.

Coun Gibbons said: “It was an absolute pleasure to attend this annual event for the second time and present certificates to local young people who have been working hard all year long.

“These are young people who find it difficult learning in traditional academic settings and DVPDC provides the perfect setting for young people to develop their life-skills and progress their learning.”

The centre is run by former British and Commonwealth boxing champion Jon Jo and his wife Jackie, a qualified secondary school art and design teacher.

It is aimed at young people from across the area who have become disengaged from mainstream schools and colleges. DVPDC currently has more than 60 young people on its books, and employs nine members of staff. It offers educational programmes in subjects such as English, maths and art, along with projects focusing on health and fitness.