Trust Thamesmead and Greenwich Community College (GCC) held a Community Development Learners’ Networking and Awards Evening at GCC’s King George Street campus in Greenwich on Wednesday 15 February.

The event, attended by former pupils who had completed accredited and non-accredited Community Development courses within the last three years was not only a chance to celebrate peoples’ successes and present them with certificates, it was also an opportunity for the Trust and GCC to undertake essential evaluation. Feedback included: “The Level One Community Development training course has transformed my life! I trained as an actor and my dream was to create a group where I could enjoy acting with other people, which is exactly what I have done using the skills I learned on the course. CADZ Production is now up and running with 30 students and over 50 people on our database.

“We put on a pantomime throughout December, worked with Thamesmead Youth Voice and several other young people as part of a £800 Youth Opportunity Fund awarded to TYV, which was used to help them with team building and give TYV members the chance to become mentors to younger people who could possibly benefit from confidence building. We will also be putting on Shakespeare this summer.” – Kate Jones “Paula and I work in the marketing department for the DLR. We work with a team of seven freelance ambassadors who support the community up and down the DLR line, who perhaps don’t have the confidence to leave their house, English is their second language or they might have a baby which means they use a pram but don’t have the confidence to go up and down the stairs at their local DLR station.

“The course, more than anything, made us realise we are actually Community Development Practitioners. It made us re-evaluate a lot of what we do but at the same time, confirmed and gave us the confidence that we were already doing a lot of things right. It has been invaluable!” – Sarah Barker Sarah Feleppa, Community Development Outreach Worker (Volunteering), Trust Thamesmead said: “I am so pleased with how these courses have gone so far. Those taking part have really thrown themselves into it, taking their learning and applying it to their work and community projects. It has been an absolute pleasure working with the college and the learners.

Feedback from the day's event has been very positive and we definitely now see a way in which we can move forward with these courses, offering more chances to develop the skills of those with a real passion for their community.”

Rachel Wiltshire, Business Account Manager- Adult & Community Learning, Greenwich Community College, said: “The evening was a fantastic opportunity to hear the learners’ first-hand accounts of the true impact that this training has had on them, on both personal and professional levels. It was great to be part of such a positive group of people of all ages and from all walks of life, each contributing and making a difference to their communities.”

Erith & Thamesmead MP, Teresa Pearce who saw Trust Thamesmead’s status on Facebook congratulating the winners said, “That sounds like a great night. Could I come along next year?”

The next round of Taster courses, which could lead to accredited levels 1, 2 and 3, begin in March and is open to every-one aged 16+ who lives, works or volunteers in Thamesmead.

The course would particularly benefit those who lead or are a member of a community group, about to set up a community group or service providers who work with community groups and will help individuals to: • Learn how to take control • Discover problem solving techniques • Learn how to deal with new challenges • Meet new people and learn from their experiences • Learn how to inspire and lead your group Interested parties should register their interest with Rachel Wiltshire, Business Account Manager, Greenwich Community College, T: 020 8305 4278 or E: