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Realise Futures LaunchPad course learners keep in touch with Chatter and Natter coffee club at Bury St Edmunds' Fairtrade café Just Traid


By Newsdesk Bury


A pre-employment skills course run by a social enterprise is bringing people together as well as teaching them new skills.

The group of learners who completed the LaunchPad course at The Centre, in St John’s Street, Bury St Edmunds, two years ago now run a weekly Chatter and Natter coffee club in the centre’s Fairtrade café Just Traid.

They use the club to keep in touch with one another and mentor new learners taking the confidence-building course.

The Chatter and Natter group at The Centre, in St John’s Street, Bury St Edmunds Picture by Realise Futures
The Chatter and Natter group at The Centre, in St John’s Street, Bury St Edmunds Picture by Realise Futures

Donna Potts, a former learner who came up with idea for the coffee club, said: “It’s a great group of people. We all help one another and help new people attending the classes to feel at ease. If people are feeling low, we can support them.”

LaunchPad is a skills course designed to help those who are long term unemployed, suffer from long term health conditions or other disadvantages and learners are signposted to it by the JobCentre.

Course Tutor Viv Carter said: “The club helps people to build up their confidence and people say they can meet friends, socialise and not feel alone with their problems.”

The LaunchPad course is run by Realise Futures, a social enterprise covering the East of England which has more than 25 years of experience of running community learning courses in Suffolk.

It now provides more than 100 courses around Suffolk that are rated good or higher by Ofsted.

The courses cover subjects such as maths and English, computers and technology, and family learning.



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