A CHARITY set up on a Sheffield estate once dubbed the worst in Britain is planning to celebrate 25 years of helping people improve their lives.
The Manor Training and Resource Centre – MATREC – was launched in 1987 to help those hit by the closure of steelworks in the Lower Don Valley to get back to work.
The estate had been particularly hard hit and MATREC’s goal was to help former steelworkers retrain for new jobs.
Now it is an adult education centre which has helped people gain more than 10,000 qualifications to help them get jobs in new industries.
A party is now planned to mark the anniversary on Friday, March 30.
Business manager Kim Jervis, who took courses at the centre herself, said: “Celebrating 25 years of helping people to make the most of their lives through education and training is an amazing part of our story.
“We know people have gone on to do incredible things as a result of taking that first step through our doors and we want to track them down so we can celebrate with them.
“Organisations such as Manor and Castle Development Trust, which runs the successful Manor Lodge and the Quadrant, and the Manor Development Company, which offers premises to small businesses, can trace their roots back to MATREC.”
David Caborn, chairman of the board of directors, said: “We keep going because we have the trust of the learners and the local community,”
One of the first learners helped by the project was Gwen Schofield, who wanted to get training in computers and is now working in a school.
She said: “MATREC gave me the confidence to get involved in the community.”
Former learners or staff with memories of MATREC should call 0114 2642194.
n Share your memories of MATREC with Retro by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Retro, Paul License, The Star, York Street, Sheffield S1 1PU.