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  • Writer's pictureSue Williamson

Hello to all our participants, supporters and those who are curious about us!

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

Welcome back to our new term everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are looking forward to the new year, our biggest yet, with just under 60 participants on substantial programmes, and many others who come for just a day or two. And there are loads of new faces this year too, as well as people who have been attending Tang Hall SMART for many years. This is all so exciting, and we are sure our tenth year will be fabulous.

However, before I talk about next year, it is important to linger for a while on the achievements and experiences of last year.

As ever, there are so many brilliant things that go on all the time, and I have said it before I know, but often these really excellent events and experiences pass us by without being fully felt and recognised, as there is always just so much that is good and impactful. Here are just a few highlights:

· Our many concerts, the tea dances, music in the cafes, band nights, Barbican, spring concert, and summer festival – all such high quality, and with so many students helping behind the scenes.

· The progress of individuals, in their confidence and independence. Also, the superb exam grades with some Distinctions and Distinction-Plusses at Level 3 (Damien, Keigan and Tom), and a full pass for Rebecca and Chris too, and a 100% pass-rate for our Level 1 and 2 students. We are also proud of Alfie Bater-Craik who attained our first ever Level 3 Art Extended Certificate.

· Our sports programme and the sports day/fair in July.

· The progression into employment and in some cases university by students who had finished their qualifications. We are very proud of Keigan and Spencer who have both taken up Degree courses in Music. We wish these guys a successful first year as a student at uni!

Which leads me onto this year.

We will be continuing with the usual events, and of course, our core education and training work. There are a couple of new community clubs, and we have extended our cutting-edge programme of intensive support for adults with experiences of homelessness.

We have some new staff that joined just before the end of the year: Lisa Harrison (Functional Skills Lead), Phyllis Hoyle (Drama), Ganna Belcheva (Art), Bob Fleming (Music). We also welcome back Becky O’Donovan, and Jo Holmes (a bit later in the term). The full staff team can be seen here.

Have a fantastic year everyone! All the best, Sue x

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