Recovery College for Bristol homeless 'first outside London'

P2E Bridge the Gap Worker Ruth Reddecliff signing up Gordon Livingstone. Registration for courses is taking place on Monday and Tuesday

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A new college to help homeless people build their confidence and develop new skills has been set up in Bristol.

It has been launched by charity St Mungo's which said the Recovery College was the first of its kind outside London.

The London college has been running since September and has seen more than 500 people attend courses.

Registration days will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Compass Centre, on Jamaica Street, Bristol.

Courses begin on 3 June will be delivered by St Mungo's staff, clients and volunteers, as well as regional businesses and organisations including Bristol Botanic Gardens and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

'Homeopathy and gardening'

Jeremy Townend, Pathways2Employment manager, said: "People who have experienced homelessness may have been out of work for a year or more and may not have had a positive experience within the education system.

"The Recovery College is about a second chance to build confidence and self-esteem, take some first steps back into learning, at all levels, all within a supportive environment.

"The courses include everything from website design, homeopathy and gardening to personal development, budgeting and job searching.

"It's all about enabling people to develop their own strengths at their own pace, while meeting new people and broadening their horizons."

Richard Horton, a St Mungo's client, said: "The Recovery College idea is just brilliant.

"When you've been sleeping rough or out of work for a while, you can lose confidence and a sense of how to move on from where you are.

"This project offers people real hope to discover new interests and hobbies which could turn into future work, and is a great chance for people to come together and share experiences in an informal and fun environment."

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