CAIA Park residents who have been learning new skills thanks to a European initiative have been rewarded for their work with a day of free pampering.

The European Social Fund (ESF) paid for the establishment of the ACHIEVE Project. The Caia Park Partnership created ACHIEVE in order to get residents on the estate to undergo training and educational programmes.

A whole range of subjects, from IT, woodwork and craftwork to life skills, business administration and health and social care were available to people, and in the last 12 months 86 students have been through the system.

The programme was aimed at people on low incomes, unskilled workers, unemployed people with little or no basic or key skills such as mathematics or IT, and people who were unlikely to take advantage of other further educational avenues.

'The success of the project has been due to taking a localised view and adopting a flexible approach to the needs of students,' said Caia Park Partnership deputy chief officer Nigel Davies.

'By putting the learner first and providing an encouraging curriculum, ACHIEVE has widened students' enjoyment of learning and their appreciation of the benefits of education.'

To reward students, the Caia Park Partnership booked Rainbow Therapy for a day to give students and staff a motivational pat on the back.

They were able to try out a new detox machine, Hopi candles that clear the ears and sinuses, and massage - in fact the whole Rainbow Therapy menu was on offer.

'This was a nice gesture by the partnership,' said Gay Jacobsen, of Rainbow Therapy.

'Too often people don't think to treat themselves and don't realise that sometimes what we think of as pampering is actually just what we need to feel normal.'

According to Nigel, it is all part of a social change.

'Our aim through encouraging learning is to help people fulfil their potential,' he said.

'These treatments are relaxing and help melt away the stresses of everyday life and feeling relaxed every now and again is as important as education for improving quality of life.'