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College partnership works wonders at Hilltop House

12 August 2020

College students are granted permanent roles after impressing the team at Sanctuary Supported Living’s Hilltop House, during their work placements.

West Suffolk College students with Hilltop House residents and staff West Suffolk College students with Hilltop House residents and staff.

The service in Bury St Edmunds, which provides care and support for adults aged 18 and over with a range of physical disabilities, has formed strong links with West Suffolk College, and first trialled student placements three years ago. Since then, a number of students have taken up permanent roles at Hilltop House, after impressing the team.

Hilltop House was recently rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and their report also referenced the partnership with the college, stating: ‘The service worked well with the local college to support students entering the care sector.’

Liz, a resident at Hilltop House said: “They were all so helpful. It was good to work with them. I got on well with them all and enjoyed talking with them all. It was good to have them here and chat to them about their experiences.”

Emma Warren, Area Service Manager for Sanctuary Supported Living added: “We have developed a fantastic relationship with West Suffolk College and it has been great to see the students thrive in this environment. The residents respond so well to the students and they enjoy having new people to communicate with.”

Joan Llewellyn, Work Placement Officer at West Suffolk College said: “I have found Hilltop House to be an outstanding partner to us. The team have supported and nurtured our students and it’s been brilliant to see this result in permanent positions for some of them.”

Erin Gibson from Bury St Edmunds was granted a work placement at Hilltop House and is now a permanent member of staff, working as a Care and Support Assistant. Erin said: “I have absolutely loved my time there, from my placement to now being a member of the team. It has given me the appetite to pursue a career within the care sector and I will be starting my degree in Social Work from September!”

To find out more about how we support people with learning disabilities, see our disability page or read our resident stories.

Download a printable PDF version (PDF 114KB) of this story.

The residents respond so well to the students and they enjoy having new people to communicate with.

Emma Warren, Area Service Manager

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