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STUDENTS at a Hereford college have learnt new skills after completing a training scheme thought to be 'the first of its kind'.

Fourteen Hereford Sixth Form College students graduated from Hereford Vennture’s Lean-on-Me training, having completed a challenging six-month training programme which included working in Emelia’s Place – a purpose built venue designed to help people on a night out recover safely from excess alcohol.

Emelia’s Place reduces the burden on emergency services and the city’s Street Pastors.

Hillary White, head of careers at the college, said: "Vennture has offered a unique and hands on work experience opportunity which will be sure to open many doors for our students. A first of its kind.”

The initiative was enabled by a grant from The Herefordshire Foundation.

Speaking at the graduation, Chief Inspector Adam Thomas said: “Emelia’s transforms safety and care in Hereford’s night time economy, it’s encouraging to see so many young people giving back to their community.”

One student involved with the project, Jonathan Wall, said the practical scenarios had enabled students to develop skills that could not be taught in a classroom.

The Lord Lieutenant, Lady Darnley, presented each graduate with their certificates. Vennture Project Lead, Micha Reynolds said: “It is amazing to see each student’s hard work and dedication.

"They have grown in confidence and they are now accumulating valuable experience to allow them to pursue their university applications.”