Yorkshire Coast College – An Inclusive Environment

Photo Caption Below- Dolly Weeks pictured with Hairdressing Tutor Deborah Day Programme Leader for Hairdressing, Debra Gray – Acting Principal of the Grimsby Institute and Lauren Forward Hairdressing Student.

One of Yorkshire Coast College’s Future Prospect students, Dora Weeks or Dolly as she is known is studying Hair and Beauty at Yorkshire Coast College. Dolly who has Downs Syndrome attends Yorkshire Coast College to help improve her life skills.

Dolly lives in ‘supported living’ in Whitby, where she and other residents take part in day-to-day tasks such as shopping and cleaning with support from carers. She has already achieved a number of entry level qualifications and by the end of the college year Dolly will have completed a level 1 Future Prospects Qualification.

Dolly said: ‘I think the course is really good I have made some new friends, my favourite part so far is blow drying and doing nail art’.

Local Lady Shirley Sorbey met Dolly on one of her visits to YCC’s Aura Hair and Beauty Salon. Shirley who spends a lot of time working in Malaysia with children who are Downs Syndrome explained: ‘I am the Chairperson of the Kiwanis Downs Syndrome Foundation in Malaysia, the foundation is committed to the welfare of young children with Downs Syndrome. The Centre helps to offer education, support and guidance to the children and their parents. This is a charitable organisation children usually come from a very young age up until 6 years old, they then go on to government schools. After this there are very few opportunities for them. I would like to in the future open a new Centre to help them develop valuable life skills like Dolly is doing at Yorkshire Coast College. I intend to use Dolly as an example to officials in Malaysia to show them what is possible when places like Yorkshire Coast College are prepared to give all students a chance. It is great to see how well Dolly works with others and how she is developing new skills. Hopefully Dolly’s story will help to encourage people in Malaysia to offer more opportunities for young people with disabilities.’

Dolly practiced her wash and blow dry skills with some assistance from Level 2 Hairdressing Student Lauren Forward on the Acting Principal of the Grimsby Institute Debra Gray. Debra said: ‘The service I had from Dolly was excellent, from making me a cup of tea, to washing my hair to blow drying and styling. Lauren was very supportive and encouraging of Dolly. I was proud to be her first paying client and proud that Yorkshire Coast College provides an inclusive environment where everyone can learn and succeed.”

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Photo Caption  – Dolly practicing her wash and blow dry skills on the Acting Principal of the Grimsby Institute Debra Gray.