Festival celebrates student diversity

Staff and students at Launchfest
Staff and students at Launchfest

A Leigh college hosted a mini-festival at its grounds to celebrate its students’ diversity.

Launchpad, a specialist education college for young people with learning difficulties, held its first ever Launchfest last week.

Pupils and teachers were treated to live music and all the typical festival trimmings at Leigh Sports Village, as well some extra special entertainment from fire breathers and acrobats.

The college, which is part of the Expanse Learning Group, organised the event after students expressed a desire to attend real life festivals such as V Festival and Creamfields.

Learning support officer Natasha Harvey said: “We hope that people will see this and understand that people with learning disabilities can still do things like this. We want to promote their independence.

“Because of their age group of 16 to 25, they do talk about festivals and would love to try them, but they find it hard to mix with people in this generation.”

The day was made even sweeter as the event was a complete surprise for all students. Pupils had spent the morning preparing to showcase themselves in their own college talent show, before the doors were opened and all was revealed.

The college now hopes to make Launchfest an annual event following the successful debut festival.