From education to employment

Derby College Performing Arts student takes the right steps for Steps

Derby College Performing Arts student Jordan Roebuck is using his talents to help adults express themselves through music and dancing at a community arts centre.

Jordan, who is 18 and from Hilton, recently gained part-time employment at Steps for the Future after two years of volunteering with the Derby charity, based in Nottingham Road.

Steps is a dance and music group which provides “a safe and supportive environment where adults with differences can showcase their talent and flourish as individuals.”

Jordan said: “It’s great. I’m now leading some of the classes I used to volunteer at.

“Our students, who are aged from 18, love singing and dancing as well as playing instruments and making up their own songs.

“I took part in a disability awareness workshop at Steps as part of my NCS (National Citizen Service) just after I left school, so when College said Steps were looking for volunteers among the performing arts students; I thought “this one’s mine.”

“I hadn’t worked with people with disabilities before Steps, but through doing this role I’ve learned more about autism and Down’s syndrome. Some class members are a bit shy when they first come here but it’s great to see them gain confidence and become more independent.

“I think the people who attend our classes are no different from anyone else. They are adults who enjoy music and just want to socialise and have a good time.”

Maggie Attenborrow, Steps’ founder, said Jordan was a real asset to the group.

She said: “He asked to join us so we knew he was special. His enthusiasm for what we do just shines out of him.

“It’s nice to have a ‘bloke’ as we don’t get many men leading our classes. As well as working with the music groups, Jordan also helps out at our health and well-being classes at Queen’s Leisure Centre.”

Jordan will shortly be starting the second year of his Level 3 Performing Arts at Joseph Wright Centre. Once he has completed the course he would like to go on to study screen acting or creative studies at university and would ultimately like to act or direct.

Sally Casboult, work experience officer at Derby College, added: “We have had excellent feedback from Steps about Jordan.

“We’re very proud of him and we’re also grateful to Steps for the Future, who are part of our Employment and Skills Academy. Maggie and the team have helped on numerous occasions to provide our students with fantastic volunteering opportunities; preparing our students for the world of work and helping to co-design our Study Programme.”

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