Celebration for First Place Bedford & Kempston Learners


First Place Training Bedford & Kempston jointly hosted a Presentation Day event to celebrate the success of our learners over the past year. Our learners did not disappoint us, they all pushed the boat out with their positive attitudes and their smart attire. Guests who attended this event were parents, carers, support workers, work placement providers, school representatives, referral agencies, key partners and prospective learners.

Mark Pike our CEO and MD for First Place Training, opened the event with his welcoming speech and then handed over to Ian Rowe, our Key Speaker. Ian is a very inspirational speaker who engaged the audience in his attempt to become, as part of a crew, the first boat to row unsupported across 3000 miles of Atlantic Ocean in 30 days. He covered the highs and lows together with challenges and related these to everyday events. We think that everyone will remember the “yellow bucket”! Ian’s powerful story certainly left us all feeling encouraged, inspired and a bit emotional!


Learners presented a fantastic video capturing what they have done and achieved whilst they have been at First Place Training. It was great for learners to be able to share their experience which clearly demonstrated their success and what positive engagement and support they have taken away from being with First Place Training.

This was followed by Ian presenting learners with their certificate of achievements. Special awards were given to learners who excelled in their respective vocational areas and also to the “Learner of the Year 2016”.6

Ben Yates retained his record for the second year running and received the ‘Tutor of the Year’ award. This special award was presented to Ben for his exceptional support and assistance to learners and the Centre alike.

We ended the event in the best way possible, with a mouth-watering refreshment spread.
Well done and thank you to everyone who was involved in the planning and organising of this event, and congratulations to all our learners – this event was to celebrate you! We would like to thank personally all of you that attended to support these young people and celebrate in their success. We hope everyone enjoyed the day, from the feedback received thus far it looks like this will have to be made into a yearly event!



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Summerfield Railway

First Place Training are delighted to be working in partnership with Summerfield Miniature Railway, a new setting for work experience for higher needs learners. The range of activities for learners to experience is vast from: construction, track working, gardening, painting and maintenance, to housekeeping in the café and mess rooms for the volunteer staff. Angela Killeen,the Learning Inclusion Lead, says “This is a great opportunity for those higher need learners to make a real contribution in a stimulating work environment. The setting, is also very good to serve both Bedford and Dunstable learners. It is a pleasure to support this amazing setting run by volunteers on their maintenance days each Wednesday. The Dunstable learners have started work this April and are aiming to towards supporting a Running Day this June.


Positive Feedback from Work Experience Employers


Shazwan Amir makes his mark with A4S

“Shazwan has been on work experience at A4S since February this year. He is always punctual and polite and respectful and has proved himself to be hardworking and willing to have a go at new tasks. He works independently most of the time and his work is effective and very helpful to us. Shazwan is friendly and has made an effort to be sociable with all the staff and we enjoy his sense of humour!  His confidence has increased greatly since being with us.  It is a great help having him work with us.

Marian Boland

work experience


the reuse centre

Alex Markovic shines at his interview with the ReUse Centre. Alex has been offered a volunteer placement at The ReUse Centre in their IT section.

Jayne Hall, Volunteer Coordinator, at the The ReUse Centre was really impressed with Alex’s interviewing skills and the following are her comments:

“I was so pleased to have met with Alex who is a thoroughly delightful young man. He asked insightful questions and gave good answers to the questions he was asked. His skills appear to be exactly what we are looking for in an IT volunteer and he has an excellent problem solving and a have-a-go attitude. He met with the IT volunteer supervisor Ray, who showed him around the IT workshop and then, he met some of the other volunteers who work at Gadsby St. I was impressed by his level of social interaction.”

springfield lower school

Springfield Lower School provides excellent support and work experience to our learners.

Two of our learners Naseeb Kaur Takk and Anil Pradeep work in this vibrant school.  Francesca Vasso, their supervisor had the follow comments for each of them:

“Naseeb has shown great confidence during school placement. She works well as part of a team, she has shown professional qualities and is capable at helping a wide range of children. She also, always uses her initiative and thinks on her feet.

Anil works hard in all aspects and takes on all responsibilities around the classroom. He has shown great creativity skills and is a great communicator.”

Parkside Residential Home

Alisha Kumari Dehar has equally shined at her work placement with Parkside Residential Home. We have received positive feedback from her supervisor Shirley Humphreys:
“Alisha is working very well with residents and staff members.  Friendly and helpful, always smiling and she asks questions if she is unsure.”

Working in Partnership with Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Bedford Fire Service

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service are facilitating a 12 week Fire Forward Course for First Place Training Bedford learners. The aims of the programme are to increase the learners’ confidence and self-esteem, develop their communication skills, assist with understanding self-discipline and respect and working in a team. The course is well underway and positive feedback has been received from all the learners attending the course. Both First Place Training staff and Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service have also commented on the learners’ engagement and enthusiasm towards the course activities.

Marlika Anderson, the Community Safety Officer (Youth) at the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said,

“So far I have enjoyed working with First Place Training.  I was unaware of First Place Training until a member of their staff made contact with me.   Their young people have been a pleasure to work with and always seem thoroughly engaged.  I look forward to more exciting adventures with First Place Training.

A close working relationship has developed between the two organisations and the success of this pilot programme will lead to similar provision being rolled over at First Place Training Dunstable Centre.

fire service



Adults Basic and Level 1 Computing courses

Adults Basic and Level 1 Computing courses

First Place, Bedford, has been working in partnership with the Jobs Hub and Seetec to provide basic online computing skills for adult learners. We successfully delivered two courses (January & February) at the Jobs Hub and one course (March) at Seetec, in total, 30 learners were enrolled on the three courses and 28 achieved their qualification – for some, their very first qualification. We also delivered the Level 1 Award for IT Users computer course, for adults, and 10 learners enrolled on this course. The courses are funded by Keits.

Find out more about the IT courses offered by First Place Training


First Place Training Bedford extends a warm welcome to new staff joining the team


It has been a real pleasure having additional members to our team at our new First Place Centre in Dunstable!



Ravi as our Teaching and Learning Support Assistant

Ravi previously worked with the Prince’s Trust, he has been actively involved with the marketing of our courses and also responsible for facilitating our Personal & Social Development sessions. Ravi has created a strong partnership with numerous external agencies.



Tyaane Thomas               

Tyaane Thomas (Volunteer, Learning Support Assistant). 

Tyanne has just completed her degree in Youth Justice Criminology at the University of Bedfordshire. She has provided excellent support to our learners on both the Child Care and Health and Social Care Course.



Helen McHugh (IAG Advisor)Helen Helen is a learning development professional with 18 years experience working in education, local authorities and the NHS. Helen is working towards her Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance. She is working with learners both at the Bedford and Kempston centres. She is offering invaluable information, advice and guidance to all our learners.






Tameka is studying for her MSc in Social Work at the University of Bedfordshire and is on her work placement with First Place Training.  She has worked with various voluntary agencies and the hands-on experience has equipped her to work with not only young people but also adults with learning difficulties within different settings. She is providing the much needed pastoral care to our learners.