Top class results from first year at Dearne Valley centre


A social enterprise in Mexborough is celebrating a year of providing educational opportunities to young people from difficult backgrounds.

The Dearne Valley Personal Development Centre on Swinton Road is beginning its second year of helping youngsters aged 13 to 16 who may not suit full-time, mainstream education.

It was set up by boxer and Commonweath Games gold medallist John Irwin and his wife Jackie, who has a background in teaching and education.

Jackie said: “We’ve now become an exam centre and can offer qualifications in health and fitness, creative crafts and working together. We feel we have definitely moved on from the start and we are going to have some really good outcomes this year.

“Our first year was really good but very hard work. We are looking forward to next year and feel more prepared now.”

New additions this year include an allotment in Denaby. John, 44, and Jackie, 41 are now applying for funding to pay for equipment to use there and they hope to get in touch with green-fingered locals to support the work there.

In addition, they have a new kitchen facility where youngsters can develop their teamwork skills in a culinary environment.

For more information about what the centre has to offer, email