YOUNG people in Bradford with learning disabilities had the chance to show off their skills and display their work at a photography exhibition at the Kala Sangam Arts Centre.

Mencap run a Supported Internship programme from the centre, and part of a new programme this year the young people organised the photography exhibition, which was held last Wednesday.

The programme is designed to support young people with learning disabilities to get into work.

The course covers English, maths, employability skills and work experience.

"Mencap run supporting internships for young people with learning disabilities," said Suzanne Parish, an employ,ment case worker for Mencap Supported Internships.

And when work placements, which proved difficult because of Covid, they decided to do a project which would impact the community and raise money for charity.

The learners have undertaken a Community Impact Project where they chose to plan and host a photography exhibition to raise money for local charities

Suzanne said the two charities, Young People’s Heath and Vital – Mental Health Advocacy, are both local charities which rely on fundraising to provide essential services in the local area.

She said the learners have all been supported by local businesses who have done things to make the photography exhibition a success.

She said: "All the materials have been donated to us from local businesses but the learners have done all the work themselves."

Suzanne said: "We've had two themes - A day out a Myrtle Park in Bingley and Bradford Cathedral.

The latter was chosen as a theme as the Kala Sangam Arts Centre is very near to the cathedral.

She said the photography exhibition is a community impact project that has taught the learners about people.

Suzanne said: "It's helped them realise people are generous when it's for a good cause."

She explained that they went around local businesses and asked for things that could help with their exhibition.

"We went to Max Spielman and they gave us some photo frames.

She said the learners wondered why someone would give them something for free.

"It was a real eye opener for them," said Suzanne. "It's all about kindness."

She also said that the project help build "teamwork and planning skills which they used to organise things for the exhibition.

The day itself proved to great success and Suzanne that the young people had already £165 from their which was available for sale.

Suzanne also said the young people invited friends and family to attend the exhibition as well as some of the managers of Mencap, the trustees and ambassadors.

Suzanne said: "Thank you to the following businesses that have donated printing, photograph frames and hanging strips for this exhibition."

Those businesses include Tesco on Halifax Road, Max Spielman, Banner-man Print, Pride Design, Jigsaw Print and B&Q Wakefield.

She also thanked Kala Sangam for allowing the Mencap learners to use their space for the exhibition.