GLADCA - serving the Peterborough community for 43 years

Councillor Nazim Khan, Mohammad Choudhary, Rachel Nichols, Paula David, Janet Meenaghan, Yasmin Ilahi and Wendi Ogle Welbourn (seated).

Councillor Nazim Khan, Mohammad Choudhary, Rachel Nichols, Paula David, Janet Meenaghan, Yasmin Ilahi and Wendi Ogle Welbourn (seated).

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An organisation which has helped thousands of immigrants integrate into Peterborough society for more than 40 years has held its annual meeting and award ceremony.

The Gladstone Community Association (Gladca), based at premises in Gladstone Street, staged its 43rd AGM and Certificate Presentation Day with Wendi Ogle Welbourn, city council corporate director of people and 
communities, as the guest speaker.

Janet Meenaghan, the principal of New College Stamford, which provides funding for the charity, presented certificates to students based on what had been achieved in the last academic year.

Gladca manager Yasmin Ilahi said in the region of 500 students had gone through the centre’s learning stream last year taking courses in English and other activities such as yoga, and flower arranging .

“The Jobcentre refers people to us who are looking for work,” she said.

“They are mainly immigrants who have little or no English and language is a barrier to them getting employment.

“We also have parents who come to us because they want to improve their English to help their children with homework, for example, and people who want the language skills to integrate into wider society.”

Courses, led by tutors at the centre, start with basic English and progress through several levels to cover functional skills.

Around 300 passed their courses and at the presentation night around 100 were presented in person.

Mohammad Choudhary, Director of Gladca, added: “ Gladca is proud to have served the community for over forty years and we look forward to continuing to do so in the future.”