Learners with difficulties and disabilities have celebrated their progress and success at a special awards night.

The red carpet was rolled out for Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College learners who have been on the college’s SKIL and Bridge courses.

The courses have helped them develop important life and employability skills through utilising a purpose built flat to develop self-help and independence.

Initially students are supported by a ‘job coach’ from Lancashire County Council with the support reducing as the student progresses through the course.

Lewis Baker-Vose, 22, who has enjoyed a Supported Internship with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "When I started at College, I had in my mind that I was working towards getting a job, and my mum really encouraged me to pursue the Supported Internship route.

"Lancashire County Council worked with Nelson and Colne College to secure me a supported internship at ELHT, working on the main reception where I direct patients and visitors to the relevant areas and operate the emergency door system.

"This internship has given me so many opportunities to meet new people and learn new skills.

"I don’t want my disability to stop me from thriving in the community and being an active member of society. This placement has changed my life."

Assistant Principal at Nelson and Colne College, Fionnuala Swann, said: "It was a lovely occasion and a fitting way to mark the success and progress of our students.

"The celebration was also a chance to look back on what they have all achieved here at Nelson and Colne College and at Accrington and Rossendale College - developing confidence and life skills that will stand them in good stead in the future."