Linkage Adult Skills (Grimsby) Win National Competition

Posted: 30/05/2019

Grimsby Adult Skills have won a £1,000 prize in a national art competition organised by the Original Factory Shop.

Marking TOFS 50th birthday celebrations, the competition invited groups to create artwork which best represents what their community means to them. Clients at Grimsby Adult Skills recreated the iconic seaside town in collage.

Initially, the entry was named as the winning artwork for the region and was displayed in store. TOFS CEO, Emma Fox then judged all regional entries, picking Linkage as a national winner.

Ian Whitwham, store manager of The Original Factory Shop in Cleethorpes, chose the Linkage entry as the winner for the Cleethorpes region. He said:

“As soon as I saw the entry it perfectly summed up Cleethorpes and why people love it here so much. We’re thrilled to see Linkage named as the overall winner – they’re truly deserving.

Over the years we’ve had a number of students and clients from across Linkage come to the store for work experience. It’s amazing to see individuals go from being fully supported with their work coach, to working completely independently in just a few short months. We’ve had some do so well they now work as permanent staff. It’s valuable work experience for them and it’s amazing to see the amount of confidence they gain just from working alongside us. It makes us feel like one big family.”

Today, clients attended the store to meet the CEO and collect their prize.

Three of the four artists (Richard, Alex and Tom) pose with the store manager, Ian and TOFS, CEO Emma Fox.


A group of Grimsby Adult Skills clients and staff collect a huge cheque from the Cleethorpes store.

Adult Skills Instructor, Jan Hallifax, says:

“The guys are so thrilled to be announced as the winner. We discussed the competition with the groups and asked them what the best thing about our community is and what do they like doing. Someone suggested meeting people and beach huts and it grew from there really. Everyone was shouting their thoughts: sand castles, the beach, sea huts, sea creatures, ice-cream, so out came the art materials. They were all engaged in making the ideas come to life. It was amazing to watch and be a part of it.”

The clients will now decide as a group what to spend the prize money on.  Some have suggested creating a new sensory room, while others have suggested buying outdoor equipment and arts materials.

A massive well done to all of the clients involved. Their piece of artwork makes us feel happy, which is exactly what “community” should do.

For more information on Adult Skills click here.

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