St Edmunds Society was established in 1965, originally as an accommodation project for the young homeless. In 2004 started to consider how preventative work for the less able could act as a means of providing opportunities that had passed them by. We opened our vocational learning hub in 2012, providing an alternative learning environment for young people with few or no qualifications. We support those who have experienced problems in life and the traditional education system.

We provide young people with opportunities in Construction, Transport Maintenance, Catering & Hospitality and Hair & Beauty. We also offer functional skills and GCSE’s in English and Maths for those capable of achieving them, supported by suitably qualified teachers and instructors.

At St-Eds, we pride ourselves on offering a diverse range of training courses for students at both pre-16 and post-16. We never give up on anybody and this has become our mantra. Whether you are a young person looking for training, a parent/carer or guardian, a referral agency or an IAG professional looking to place students, we look forward to welcoming you to St Edmunds Society.

Applying for St Eds - Question and Answer session

If you are thinking of applying for a course at St Eds, this video should answer any questions you might have.
It will give you an overview on the courses and qualifications we offer, who the courses are suitable for, class sizes, the application and interview process, the facilities in our Training Centre, support with bursaries, who to talk to if you have any concerns and lots, lots more…
If you still have more questions, please get in touch with us and we will be happy to help you.

Many of the problems young people face arise from issues they have experienced in their lives. We have an excellent Welfare team overseen by qualified social workers. This allows us to work closely with the young person, their families and carers to understand and overcome the barriers to learning which have hampered their progress previously and our results to date have been impressive.

In 2018 we also launched an Outreach Support Programme, working in direct partnership with schools, students, and parents in an attempt to prevent or reduce exclusions. This includes 1:1 support with some students seeing their school week split between academic subjects and vocational training in an Alternative provision environment providing a more tailored approach to individual needs rather than the general “one size fits all”.

We try always to support those in need of our services and as many disadvantaged and vulnerable young people aged 14-24 in the local community as we can. St Eds is an independent charity and receives no direct statutory funding whatsoever relying on generation of its own funds and the support of charitable trusts, benefactors and the public at large.

Careers Advice and Guidance

Many young people often do not get the advice and guidance they may need to progress into their chosen career path. At St-Eds, we love helping students to be the best they can be!

The CIAG Team will provide you with careers information, advice and guidance to help you become aware of the opportunities available in Norfolk and what your next steps should be. They will help to develop your confidence, enabling you to access future career paths applicable to your skills and interests.

The team will prepare you for the demands in the labour market, helping you to explore the opportunities available and to make the most of your qualifications. They will also support you with your functional skills in Maths and English to compliment your vocational qualifications.

The team, accredited by Matrix, will also organise employability days with St-Eds corporate partners, to enhance your overall learning experience throughout your training course.

“It is amazing to see how the students progress whilst they are here, developing their confidence during one-to-one sessions, helping them feel better equipped to be able to access their next steps.”

Amanda Bowie – Study Programme Manager

Employabilty Day At Taylor Wimpey

St-Eds is fortunate to have access to nationally recognised sub-contractors such as Taylor Wimpey, with whom our students can develop relationships for work experience and apprenticeships.

“At St-Eds Training Centre they help you to become more independent in your learning and you are encouraged to take opportunities that are available. This enabled me to get the placement at Taylor Wimpey which has given me hands on experience in what the construction industry is really like.”
Tom Kavanagh – Taylor Wimpey
Taylor Wimpey

Welfare and Behaviour Management

Studies and past practice have identified that young people will often struggle in education when their emotional, physical and behavioural needs are not effectively being met.

On arrival, you will be offered a thorough induction, to show you and your parents/guardians what St-Eds has to offer you and how the team can help prepare you for the future. We like to get to know and understand all of our students.

Specifically, St-Eds has developed its Welfare Support Team, to ensure that the safety of all students and staff comes first. Through strong communication and engagement, the Welfare Team will identify any barriers to your learning and work with you to overcome these.

By applying its knowledge and experience, the Welfare Support Team focuses on gaining trust and building lasting relationships, helping you to target and reach manageable training and workplace goals.

“The safety, care and welfare of our students, both physical and emotional, is our number one priority. We focus on connecting with our young people; building close relationships with them based on trust.”

Rio Bygrave – Welfare Support Manager

What Our Students Had To Say

We asked some of our students to talk about their experiences at St-Eds. Here’s what they had to say!

Meet The St Eds Team

Lorraine Bliss, MBE

Chief Executive Officer

Lorraine Bliss

Lorraine has been with St-Eds for over thirty years and has been its Project Leader and CEO for the last twenty. She firmly believes that every young person deserves the right to achieve their full potential, irrespective of the social and mainstream educational challenges they may have faced growing up. That is the core focus at St-Eds. Lorraine is extremely proud of the work that St-Eds has achieved and the difference that staff and tutors have made to the lives of thousands of young people over the years.

Serena Davenport

General Manager

Serena Davenport Transition Coach

Serena is the General Manager at St Eds and has recently completed an apprenticeship and diploma in Management and Leadership. She continually reviews and develops the provision to accommodate more young people in need of alternative vocational training. She strives to find new collaborative opportunities, and works closely with Skills Training UK and the trustees to develop St Eds. Serena finds it particularly rewarding to watch our students secure real full-time work placements on completion of their training.

Becky Jordan

Executive Management Trainee

Becky Jordan 2019

Becky is part of the Executive Management Team at St Eds. She originally joined the team in Marketing and Communications and is still heavily involved in marketing, organising and attending events and fundraising for the charity. Becky is passionate about supporting young people to achieve their potential, and is constantly looking for new opportunities to support the students in this.

Rio Bygrave

Welfare Support Manager

Rio Bygrave 2019 - Copy

Rio manages our welfare team to support challenging and complex students. Rio had a passion for supporting our young people and has been key to implementing our Outreach Welfare Support packages, with local schools and young people. Along with her ever growing list of training she really is an asset to our team and to our students!

Amanda Bowie


Amanda Bowies 2018

Amanda is our Study Programme Manager, who oversees Post-16 courses within the training centre. She has many years experience working with disadvantaged young people to support Careers Information Advice and Guidance (CIAG). She is responsible for student recruitment, as well as attendance of our Post-16 students.

Sharon Oakley


Sharon Oakley 2017 (2)

Sharon joined the team in 2013. She is now our IQA Manager, who oversees Quality Assurance of our course delivery and ensures we meet the standards of Awarding Bodies of our courses. She also leads student progress meetings, and monitors and supports students to achieve their aims and gain qualifications. Sharon leads on registering new courses and lesson observations. In her spare time, Sharon loves reading non-fiction including biographies, historical events and self-improvement.

Steven Brown


Transport Maintenance

Steven is passionate about teaching English, and delivering interesting and engaging learning sessions for the students. He has been working at St Eds since October 2018, and the thing he enjoys most about his role is seeing the students participate in tasks that demonstrate a new-found confidence and growing range of abilities.

Lee Masters


Lee Masters 2019

Lee is our Maths tutor at St Eds, and joined in 2019. He teaches a range of levels and abilities, from Functional Skills to GCSE. Lee is passionate about maths, and enjoys applying it to creating his own music, which he performs regularly in gigs with his band.


Study Programme Officer

Nina McGuire 2019

Nina started here as a receptionist, this engaged her as she learned an entirely new skillset. She now works with the Post-16 team, her main focuses include student recruitment, interviews and inductions, and student attendance. She was previously an Army Reserve, and still has lots to do with Army Cadets. In her spare time she enjoys horse riding, cycling and anything outside.


Study Programme Officer

Bryony Lever 2021

Bryony has recently joined the Post-16 team at St Eds. Her main responsibilities include Attendance, CIAG (careers information, advice and guidance) and seeking work experience opportunities for our students. In her spare time, Bryony is part of a Brass Band, and can play the Cornet, Flute and Piano.


St-Eds has given me what primary and high school has not. I feel St-Eds understands my needs and it makes me want to be at school.

Leon – Student

During my time at St-Eds, I have learned a wealth of experience and skills from my tutors that I can take with me into the working world.

Jess Davies – Apprentice

I would like to say a massive thankyou to St Ed’s for everything they have done for my son who has autism, they have helped him achieve the unachievable, and have helped him deal with a lot of issues. The staff are amazing, and have supported him, and me and I will be forever grateful, any young adult that gets the opportunity is very lucky, thank you.

Jayne – Parent

I’ve been blown away by the passion and commitment of the staff involved with the St Eds outreach service. They have thrown themselves into working alongside my school staff with some of the most difficult to reach young people. By helping these young people get back into education there is no doubt that they change lives.

David Thomas – Jane Austen Academy

Some Achievements That We’re Proud Of

Number Of Training Courses That Are Run At St Eds
Number Of Students Completing Training In 2019/20
Percentage Of Post-16's Going On To Full-Time Employment