July 15, 2011
Langdon College was formed about 19 years ago to help young people with learning difficulties to be educated, gain self confidence and dignity and to become part of society. They have succeeded in their endeavour in spades.
Last night I attended the 2011 Langdon Annual Day which was one of those events that you really don’t know what to expect. My eldest daughter, Katy, joined me as she works helping people with learning difficulties into employment.
Katy has spent many years working in this field and is an authority mainly in Autism but also special needs and she raised my awareness. I discovered the ‘you tube’ video of Carly Fleishman which is very moving and I commend it to you to watch but you may need a box of tissues. Carly is remarkable and through the medium of computers is able to communicate.
Not that many years ago young people with learning difficulties were institutionalised and were called ‘idiots’. Now, in our more aware and politically correct world they have a rightful place in the community and society.
Langdon have over 90 per cent of their students in some form of work which is astonishing when you consider the UK average is only 15 per cent and this is due to many factors.
We met young Jewish girls and boys from various parts of the country who have left the secure cosiness of their homes and parents to be in the Langdon community.
Very difficult for a young person to leave home knowing that they face bigger challenges in a large and strange city but the obvious warmth and love from Langdons staff and the other students ensure that they settle.
They also have lots of support from local synagogues, youth organisations and home hospitality for Shabbat and Chagim.
I do not have the words to describe the warmth and love in the Radcliffe Civic Hall last night these young people face their demons, adjust, take on a task, even a Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, and pass. They play guitars and sing and they all have the X factor.
Even a seasoned campaigner like Katy, spending her entire working life in this environment was visibly moved.
They sang and played musical instruments either as a group or individually before those who were moving on were rewarded with certificates of achievement.
The devotion of the staff and trustees was incredible and I wont select anyone for special mention. What a huge success within our community.
Funding for these organisations is now a serious problem and they need funds and also volunteers to help.
Anyone reading this who is able to help with fund raising or organising and event please put yourself forward you will receive a very warm welcome and a massive reward.