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Central Bedfordshire College | Courses in Luton, Dunstable and Bedfordshire - Items filtered by date: November 2018

We're excited to share a story from Thameslink Rail who have kindly taken some of our learners on their "Try a train" experience.

It is of the utmost importance to us at Central Bedfordshire College that all of our learners grow their confidence and that they thoroughly enjoy the experiences they have whilst with us, please see the below press release from Govia Thameslink Railway:


Thameslink inspires young people with learning difficulties to take the train




"Thameslink has given five young Bedfordshire people with learning difficulties the knowledge and confidence to travel by train, helping develop their independence.

Two Thameslink station managers from Bedford and Harpenden last week took the Central Bedfordshire College students and their carers on a trip from Luton Airport Parkway to St Pancras International.

They showed the youngsters – one of whom uses a wheelchair – how to find their way around a station, how to buy a ticket, how to use automatic ticket gates and to see what it’s like to travel on a train. Some had never travelled by train before.

Bedford station manager Joe Healy led the experience, helped at Luton Airport Parkway by its station manager Bernie Lee, who is also station manager of Harpenden.

They were helped by Taylor, who is one of the candidates on Thameslink’s Prince’s Trust ‘Get Into Railways’ programme, which helps young adults into employment.

During the ‘Try A Train’ journey to London, Joe ran a questions and answers session and on arrival gave the group a helpful tour of St Pancras and King’s Cross next door.

Joe has run dozens of similar ‘Try A Train’ events over four years and is a finalist in next week’s National RailStaff Awards in recognition of his work.

Joe said: “I really enjoy it; it’s just the satisfaction on their faces as they gain confidence. They were really excited. I was talking to one of the girls and said, ‘Would you travel on the trains again?’ because she wouldn’t before and she said yes, she would. She had some learning difficulties. It feels so great to hear that you’re making a real difference.”

Claire Andrews, college tutor, said: “I would like to thank Joe and his team at GTR so much for the generous and fantastic opportunity they have given my students. Living so close to our local train stations is great but young adults with disabilities and their families can find it very daunting and a scary prospect if they haven't done it before.

“This experience has helped to build their confidence when using public transport and we will continue to work on the skills that they have learnt. Joe and his team were so accommodating, friendly and approachable – big thanks to them all.”

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CBC Autumn Term Newsletter


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Hospitality and Catering students served a variety of delicious canapés at the Master Chefs Lunch at Luton Hoo, this was a fantastic opportunity for students to show their skills among elite Chefs and experience such a prestigious event.
Catering students commented,

"We constructed and served a variety of canapés at the Master Chefs Lunch at Luton Hoo. This trip was eventful and gave us an opportunity to practise and showcase many different skills and ideas. We gained experience in greeting customers and finding out if they wanted to try a certain canapé. I loved seeing everyone enjoying themselves and hearing the amazing selection of music playing. The event gave us a real sense of what we would be doing in later life – an eye-opening and inspirational experience, giving us a glimpse into the industry.

Serving canapés at Luton Hoo was one of my most memorable experiences while training so far."

Destiny, Christina, Lily & Annabelle        

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Our Supported Interns enjoyed a day out organised with Arriva, Grant Palmer and Travel Choices Hub learning about public transport. The Interns were taught how to read a bus timetable and found out more about travelling on various modes of transport.
Siobhan McSwiggan, Active Travel Officer at Travel Choices Hub commented,

"It is our aim at the Travel Choices Hub, 1 Ashton Square, Dunstable to help people break down the barrier to travelling more sustainably. It was our pleasure and privilege to work with the Students and their team of support staff at Central Beds College putting together this very informative day."

The day took an unexpected turn when bus and train cancellations meant that the event did not go as originally planned. However, the Interns took these changes in their stride and had a positive day.

They were thrilled to receive excellent hospitality from the company and received a behind-the-scenes look at life at the train station. They also learned about safety while travelling and had all their questions answered by the expert team. They were shown cards to use while travelling to explain any issues with communication or mobility they may face, which transport staff are trained to understand, to ensure they can travel smoothly in the future with the assistance they need.

The company have kindly offered to organise an additional trip for the Supported Interns in the future to give them further experience travelling by bus and train.





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