Adults with learning disabilities in South Tyneside have trained as carers as part of a course believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
For the first time, adults with special needs were able gain a qualification in adult care, when they worked alongside other service users at arts centre Ocean Arts in South Shields.
The course was based at Custom Space and delivered over a six-week period by tutors from private sector company Training in Care.
Students trained for one day a week, taking part in various activities with tutor Viv Muirhead.
They were assessed by Dawn Graham, to achieve the qualification from awarding body Council for Awards in Care Health and Education (CACHE)
Training in Care chiefe executive Dr Angela Brown was delighted with the success of the course and said it will be a case study for other potential courses of its kind to run across the country.
Dr Brown said: “What we have done is to try and engage people and adults with learning disabilities.
“We have been able to look at accreditation and see how we can capture evidence in a way that allows people to achieve that qualification.
“We had an external verifier and a mix of people with learning disabilities and other service users take part.”
During the course participants designed posters and worked in teams on tasks, with photos taken as evidence of their work.
Participants learnt transferable skills, with the idea that once qualified volunteering opportunities may be available.
Dr Brown added: “We are not aware of anybody else in the country doing a course like this, which sees a private sector training company working with the voluntary sector.”