Kieran starts arts college course


Kieran, 21, from Gorton, has been receiving support through GM’s Hidden Talent since July 2019.

He lives at home with his family and his Talent Coach is Martina Convery, who works for Manchester Young Lives.

Kieran and Martina had been weighing up his options for some time. Kieran had some prior experience in retail before joining GM’s Hidden Talent but did not want to go down this road. He had engaged with a science and engineering traineeship and also Manchester Young Lives’ in-house study programme (this combines work experience with classroom study towards Maths and English qualifications). 

Kieran on his first day at college

Neither quite suited Kieran, whose real talents lie in the creative arts. Recognising this, Martina latched onto a training course shared by the GM’s Hidden Talent Project Team on Workplace (Workplace is a social media tool used to share information between Talent Coaches and the Project Team).

The opportunity was with Project Inc, a specialist college (specialist colleges provide further education for young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities) for creative education, focusing on creative study pathways for 16 – 25 year olds. 

Martina spoke with staff at Project Inc to determine if the course would be a good fit with Kieran. She was impressed with the structure and wrap around support provided on the ‘Engage Inc.+’ course, an internship focused, post-19 study programme.

“The staff and the pastoral support offered were impressive,” she said.

“The class sizes would be small and I was told about their specialist staff with expertise in communication and wellbeing needs. I needed to know the setting would be appropriate and take into account Kieran’s additional needs. It all seemed like a great match and I convinced Kieran to apply.”

A sample of Kieran's art work

Martina oversaw Kieran’s application and helped him secure a place on the year-long Engage Inc+ course.  Kieran’s learning will take place at The Manchester Museum.

Over the summer break, Project Inc sent Kieran an arts pack containing materials and activities. 

On the first day of Kieran’s induction week with Project Inc, Martina met Kieran off his bus and made sure he arrived on time. Working with Project Inc staff, Martina had arranged for a week-long bus pass to be paid for in advance. Kieran will receive longer term subsidised travel through his Education, Health and Care Plan.

Martina added: “I’m very optimistic this will work out for Kieran. He has artistic flair and needs to play to his strengths. Kieran loves drawing, some of his Manga-style work is brilliant and I’m sure he will be very happy and thrive in his new environment.”

“The Project Inc staff have said the course involves guaranteed work placements, which is vital.”

Kieran has already impressed Project Inc staff with the quality of his work and has thoroughly enjoyed his first few days of study. 

Everyone at GM’s Hidden Talent wishes Kieran all the best with his studies for the year ahead.

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