Award winners

Our award winners highlight the vast array of people who gain so much from learning as adults.

Their stories truly inspire all of us

They help us recognise that learning is transformational, exciting, rewarding and possible at any age, for any reason and can be for all of us.

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2022

Tutor Award

Being a tutor within the secure care setting brings its own set of challenges, but Helen’s innovative and inclusive approach allows her students to feel comfortable enough to pursue learning as adults. It is Helen’s commitment to professional development that brings out the best in her learners.

Helen Sonnefeld

Tutor Award | Sponsored by Education and Training Foundation

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Festival of Learning Awards 2022-364

2022

New Directions Award

Jo became determined to change her life for her and her four children after becoming a single mother. From leaving school with few qualifications, Jo returned to learning at the age of 41 and has now been in her chosen profession for three years.

Jo Wyard

New Directions Award | Sponsored by Skills and Education Group

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Mavis Satande - Festival of Learning Photos (16)

2022

Finalist

Mavis pursued her passion for accounting, discovered while working as an IT tutor in Zimbabwe, after moving to the UK. Mavis volunteered for various accounting roles and studied accounting, while also working full-time as a cleaner at the University of Bolton. Through her hard work, she landed a full-time role in the Exchequers team at the University of Bolton.

Mavis Satande

Finalist

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2022

Finalist

Jessica’s learning journey began with completing her BICS cleaning qualifications at the Cleaning Academy in HMP Bronzefield. She has since gone from strength to strength, continuing her learning by completing additional courses including alcohol awareness and heroin awareness. She is currently attending new courses, including training to be a listener, and coaching at Brentford Football Club.

Jessica Waldron

Finalist

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2022

Learning for Work Award

Emma spent a large part of her adult life battling alcohol addiction. She didn’t leave her house for long periods of time and her life lacked direction. After being referred by North Yorkshire Horizons, Emma went on to complete over 10 courses, volunteer with the charity and is now a successful full-time member of their team.

Emma Smith

Learning for Work Award | Sponsored by NOCN

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2022

Patron's Award

Mica had a challenging experience of school and continuing education as an adult, but things began to turn around for Mica when she found her love of learning and passion to become a teacher. Since then, she has flown through numerous courses in education.

Mica Jayne Coleman Jones

Patron's Award

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2022

Finalist

Sabri and his partner moved to the UK in 2019. They wasted no time and enrolled on an entry 1 level English for Speakers of Other Languages course. Since learning English, Sabri’s life has changed for the better in all aspects of his life. He has now gained British citizenship for himself and his partner, found employment, made new friends, and improved his mental health.

Sabri Sevrim

Finalist

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2022

English Language Learning Award

When Shamim arrived in the UK in 2004, he barely spoke English. Following a serious medical injury which left his wife with severe brain injuries, over a decade later he took a leap of faith and enrolled on an English learning programme. He’s gained a new sense of security and independence and is able to support his family.

Shamim Hussein

English Language Learning Award

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2022

Finalist

After losing his position as a bar manager in the spring 2020 lockdown, Gary lost his home and found himself struggling to provide for his 3-month-old daughter. Realising that a change in career was needed, Gary enrolled on an adult learning course for construction at Bolton College. He has excelled ever since, achieving a level 2 Diploma in Carpentry and Joinery, and employment as a technician at the college.

Gary King

Finalist

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2022

Learning Provision Award

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Bristol City Council saw a unique opportunity to join-up support services across homelessness, learning, employment, life skills and health support. Rough sleepers in Bristol with complex needs could finally access the specialised and tailored support they needed to gain essential skills and secure employment.

Bristol City Council

Learning Provision Award

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2022

Finalist

Starting Point aim to provide learning and development opportunities for all their staff, seeking to improve confidence, team cohesion and individual performance. This involves taking a community-centred approach to staff development where staff are encouraged to participate and share ideas on improving their organisation.

Starting Point

Finalist

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2022

Return to Learning Award

Joanne has faced a range of challenges in her life and yet, in some ways, she's very typical of many of the people that come through the doors of adult education providers. After a poor experience of school and grappling with mental health issues, Joanne returned to learning at Hillingdon Adult Community Learning and has seen her confidence and future prospects skyrocket.

Joanne Matthews

Return to Learning Award | Sponsored by City Lit

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2022

Learning for Health Award

Joanne didn’t enjoy school, learning to read at a later age than her peers and facing additional challenges in her home life. Years later, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, she enrolled on a course to understand how she could help her family cope with her diagnosis and her perception of learning changed entirely.

Joanne Sandison

Learning for Health Award

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2022

Employer Award

As a small financial services business, FD Works understands the importance of investing in their workforce to aid growth and retention. But their commitment goes beyond what works for the business, and it is the individual and diverse approach which makes them stand out as an employer.

FD Works

Employer Award | Sponsored by NOCN

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Liverpool Philharmonic Musicians with Music and Mental Health Participants. Photo by Mark McNulty (2)

2022

President's Award

Liverpool Philharmonic has been working in partnership with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust since 2008 to deliver a life changing music and mental health programme. By encouraging group work and creativity, the programme has helped participants to improve their quality of life, build confidence and create a sense of community.

Music and Mental Health Programme – The Life Rooms

President's Award

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