Brighton and Hove binmen to be honoured by Vera Lynn

Posted On 11 Dec 2009 at 4:10 pm

Dame Vera Lynn is to honour binmen from Brighton and Hove during a visit next week.

The Forces’ sweetheart will also be congratulating staff who work at the city’s tips and recycling centres as well as street cleaning and parks staff.

Dame Vera, who lives in Ditchling, is to visit the Cityclean Learning Centre to mark the qualifications earned during the year by dozens of staff.

She was invited along by GMB union learning rep Wes Lee Emond, a previous winner of a Learner Award, when he met her at a book signing in Brighton.

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He said: “We got chatting and I told her all about our learning centre. She seemed really interested so I invited her to visit and gave her my card.”

Days later, he received a call from Dame Vera’s daughter Virginia.

Mr Emond said: “I was really pleased to hear that Dame Vera wanted to take up my offer and visit the centre. Everyone is looking forward to meeting her.”

Brighton and Hove City Council’s City Services Learning Centre offers staff the chance to develop their learning and acquire new skills to help them in their jobs and outside work.

A record number of staff signed up for courses this year, with 110 of them enrolling for at least one subject.

Reading and writing, basic maths and English as a foreign language were among the most popular courses, along with computer skills and foreign languages such as French and Polish.

Staff also undertook NVQ courses in waste management, horticulture and team leading.

City Services Learning works with the GMB union and local education providers, including Sussex Downs College, the Friends Centre, Central Sussex College, Plumpton College, The Bridge education centre and Brighton and Hove Training Association.

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