What's Happening in Brighton blog

Another famous face at learning centre

Julie Walters is the latest famous face to drop into Brighton’s Cityclean and City parks learning resource centre.

The actress paid a visit to the centre in March after receiving a letter from employee Wes Lee Emond telling her how good the facility was.

The centre gives council staff such as street sweepers and bin collectors the opportunity to learn again if they did not do very well at school. It aims to give them the skills to help their children with their homework or go on to pass qualifications in literacy and maths.

Julie Walters, who starred in the Harry Potter films, Calendar Girls and Educating Rita, put on a high visibility jacket and sat behind the wheel of a refuse truck during her visit before answering questions from students.

Elaine Sweetman, the centre’s learning development officer, said: “These trips are vital to raise the profile of the work we do.

“About 100 people have gained qualifications from the centre in the past year and this helps the workers with everything from filling out forms as part of their jobs to helping their children with homework. It really helps boost their confidence.”

The actress is not the first big name to endorse the centre. International best-selling crime thriller novelist Peter James visited in December to give a talk to students, and Louis de Bernières, author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, dropped into the centre in October to give tips about writing novels.

Since the centre opened in 1996, 224 students have gained national qualifications such as NVQs.

 

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