An East London charity is sharing two successes of former students in a bid to show what can be achieved by young people with the right type of support, training, talent and hard work.

Caramel Rock is a Newham based fashion and creative arts education charity providing training and work opportunities. That learning is then consolidated with work experience, making a massive difference to many individuals who have come from challenging backgrounds and who otherwise would not be in education, employment or training.

One success came last year when former Caramel Rock student Joyline Castro, now 21, was awarded with a certificate from the Jack Petchy Awards for Excellence in drawing.

Sir Jack Petchy is a British businessman and philanthropist who set up the Jack Petchy awards back in 1999. He has a real ‘rags to riches’ story himself, much like some of the students at Caramel Rock, so is a great inspiration to its students.

Joyline’s achievement is even more impressive as she suffered from mental health issues at a young age and was referred to Caramel Rock from the NHS. She has completed her Level 2 NVQ with the charity and is now studying Level 3 in manufacturing and fashion.

Joyline’s mother, Josephine De-Lange, said Caramel Rock has been a brilliant outlet for her daughter, who suffered from depression in the past.

“Joyline is a very creative girl and I am very proud of everything she has achieved at Caramel Rock,” Josephine said.  “It has been really good for her development as she is a really talented artist and has progressed from drawing and designing and has recently bought a sewing machine and started making clothes.”

Faith Johnson, Founder and Managing Director at Caramel Rock said; “Caramel Rock has been an excellent learning environment for Joyline to pursue her ambitions in the creative industry. In an open and unconventional working environment, she has been able to excel in the creative and manufacturing industry in way she was previously unable to do at other more traditional, learning institutions.”

Another former student whose success is proving Caramel Rock, approach works, is Joeddy Poliquit, 21, who landed a job with a London fashion house Osman Studios after the charity got her paid work experience there as part of the fashion apprentice course she did with them.

Newham Charity Celebrates As Two Students Take Absolutely Fabulous First Steps To Careers In The Fashion Industry

Joeddy Poliquit, 21, who landed a job with a London fashion house Osman Studios after the charity got her paid work experience.
Photo: Caramel Rock

Osman Studios the eponymous South London label from Osman Yousefzada focuses on architectural, elegant aesthetics and strong, sculptural clothing designs for women. Having spent a year as a paid apprentice with them whilst studying with Caramel Rock one day a week, Joeddy went on to secure a job with them.

The experience gave Joeddy the confidence and desire to embrace higher education and she is now in her first year of a BA Hons Fashion Management Degree at Nottingham Trent University.

“I am really pleased to be a former student of Caramel Rock as I wouldn’t be where I am now without the support the college has given me, which led to me getting such a strong connection in the fashion industry,” said Joeddy, whose family is from Bexhill, East Sussex.

For more information about Caramel Rock and the courses and opportunities it offers please visit their website.

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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