Graduation day for talented volunteers

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A SET of talented students – who all work for community groups and charities – have become the first in the country to graduate from a new degree programme at a college.

The pupils studying on the new Foundation Degree programme validated by New College Durham – and developed with Hartlepool-based training organisation Skillshare North East – are celebrating after successfully passing the qualification after lots of hard work.

But the success is two-sided as their achievement makes them the first in the country to graduate from a college-validated course.

Karen Milburn, manager of Skillshare North East, said: “I approached New College Durham to explore the possibility of offering a higher level qualification for managers and leaders working in the voluntary sector. Before this programme was developed, there was nothing in the whole of the North East.

“This new programme is a first for the region and it provides those working in the voluntary sector with a progression route, and recognition of the work they are doing. Nineteen students from the Foundation Degree passed the two year programme, with seven achieving distinction, the highest grade.”