Mayor opens Realise Futures' Stowmarket Learning Centre

13 September 2018

The Mayor of Stowmarket, Councillor Linda Baxter, has officially opened Stowmarket Learning Centre.

It is one of six learning centres run by social enterprise Realise Futures, offering Ofsted-graded Good community learning courses in skills for work, maths and English, computers and technology, health and wellbeing, and family learning.

The Mayor cut a ribbon in the reception of the centre in Ipswich Street. She was joined by district councillors Gerard Brewster, Lesley Mayes and Dave Muller, watched by Realise Futures staff. Afterwards, there were displays of course work inside the centre along with a taster demonstration of relaxation and stress-busting tips from courses available at the centre.

Cllr Baxter said she was delighted to be opening the centre. “Learning can change people’s lives and improve confidence and you are doing a wonderful job here. I am dyslexic myself, and my journey was a difficult one, so I know how important learning opportunities are and to take pride in what you have achieved through learning.”

Realise Futures moved to the new centre earlier this year when the lease on its former centre – just across the road – expired.

Deborah Williams Realise Futures Learning and Development’s Operations Director said: “We’re so pleased to have the Mayor and local councillors here with us today so they can see first-hand the sorts of courses we offer for people.

“We know that community learning is so important, and it has many proven benefits including improving confidence and mental wellbeing. We support thousands of adult learners every year in Suffolk with a 96% pass rate for accredited courses.

“The good news is the government has recently announced an initiative to make learning more accessible for low-paid workers. Anyone in work but earning less than £15,726.50 annual gross salary is eligible for full funding.”

She added: “We continue to offer fully-funded learning for those who are unemployed and seeking employment, as well as for those who have yet to achieve a Level 2 qualification in English and maths, so it’s a great time to be launching this lovely new centre. We’d be happy to welcome anyone who would like to pop in and see how we can help them to learn new skills, boost their confidence and maybe take their first step into learning and work.”