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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2023

President's Award

Decades of experience have fed into St Giles Trust’s ground-breaking model of using adult learning to ‘turn a past into a future’. The innovative St Giles London Peer Hub trains and supports its clients to achieve a Level 3 NVQ in Advice and Guidance – often the first qualification that they have ever attained.

St Giles Trust

President's Award

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2023

Finalist

After suffering a stroke and later dealing with isolation through the Covid-19 lockdowns, June found happiness and confidence learning with Open Age. Her return to learning enabled her to take charge of her life, and she is now enrolled on courses ranging from digital skills to singing, cooking and gardening.

June Martin

Finalist

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Margaret Porta 10 (6)

2023

Patron's Award

Margaret was referred to the DigitALL project when she expressed regret over never putting on an art show of her own. Margaret’s determination to achieve this personal goal led her to successfully organise the whole event, complete with an online landing page and accompanying social media presence. 

Margaret Porta

Patron's Award

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Ferzende Khallo crop (2)

2023

Finalist

After escaping war and taking a perilous journey across Europe, Ferzende saw incredible success in his GCSE English with Birmingham Adult Education Service (BAES) and went on to receive an MA in English Literature. He now looks forward to a PhD and further opportunities to support other refugees in the UK and abroad.

Ferzende Khallo

Finalist

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2023

New Directions Award

Jason was recovering from severe brain damage and years of homelessness when he found training opportunities and a new sense of direction through Newground Together. Jason’s success in learning led not only to an offer of work, but the chance to reconnect with his family. 

Jason Richards

New Directions Award | Sponsored by Skills and Education Group

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2023

Employer Award

Originally founded as a sheltered workshop to provide meaningful employment and training for adults with disabilities, Nuneaton Signs has manufactured road and commercial signs since 1982. Since 2021, the business has offered supported internships for young people with special educational needs and disabilities in partnership with North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC).  

Nuneaton Signs

Employer Award | Sponsored by NOCN

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2023

Finalist

Rebecca enrolled on the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship while working as a prison officer at HMP Dovegate. For her apprenticeship project, she successfully pitched to invite local assistance dog training charity, the Restart Dog Project, into the prison – a scheme which proved to have a significant benefit on prisoners’ wellbeing. 

Rebecca Blockley

Finalist

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DigitALL crop 1 (2)

2023

Finalist

The DigitALL Project is a partnership of third-sector organisations set up to tackle digital exclusion in north west London. The project has gone from strength to strength, delivering weekly one-to-one and group sessions alongside outreach support for people who are unable to leave their homes. 

DigitALL Project

Finalist

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2023

Finalist

The Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) trains and develops its young, culturally diverse workforce for a career in Army Logistics, but also equips them with the personal and vocational skills and industry experience for effective transition to civilian life – including a second career outside the military. 

Royal Logistic Corps

Finalist

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Tyrese canva 2

2023

Return to Learning Award

Tyrese found school extremely challenging and left without any GCSEs. Everything changed with her referral to First Steps to Learning course at Buckinghamshire Adult Learning, a course aimed at developing English, maths and digital skills for young parents.

Tyrese Williams

Return to Learning Award | Sponsored by City Lit

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2023

English Language Learning Award

Fakhra spoke no English when she moved to the UK in 2010 and lacked the confidence to explore beyond her home environment. When her husband died shortly after she gave birth to her third child, adult learning paved the way for her journey to independence.

Fakhra Irfan

English Language Learning Award

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IMG-20230523-WA0004 Isabel5

2023

Finalist

When a catastrophic brain injury turned Isabel’s life upside down, enrolling on adult learning courses at Idea Store Learning offered the opportunity to rebuild her sense of self. Isabel is now looking to use her unique experience and skillset to help other people with neurological conditions.

Isabel Hinojosa

Finalist

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2023

Learning Provision Award

As one of only two adult residential colleges in England, Fircroft College provides a safe and welcoming environment for learners from the West Midlands by offering wraparound support and care. The college engages with learners who are furthest from the labour market, and who often have multiple and complex needs. 

Fircroft College

Learning Provision

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Jackie at her desk

2023

Learning for Health Award

Jackie was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2013 and had surgery to have a stoma formed the following year. Attending support groups and courses with the WEA helped rebuild her confidence and create sense of control over her life. Jackie has since come on leaps and bounds and even set up her own group to support others in a similar position. 

Jackie Butterworth

Learning for Health Award

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2023

Finalist

Initially pessimistic about her prospects as a learner, Razia restarted her journey at Redbridge Institute of Adult Education in 2015, where she enrolled on an ESOL Entry 3 course – a decision that would transform her life and spark a desire to help other adult learners uncover their hidden talents.

Razia Fez

Finalist

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2023

Tutor Award

Emma’s passion for Deaf culture and the Deaf community forms an integral part of her practice as a teacher of British Sign Language (BSL). Having been denied access to signed education as a child, she is motivated by her desire to support hearing students in learning and developing their own language skills.

Emma Iliffe

Tutor Award | Sponsored by Education and Training Foundation

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Geoff Carter (5)

2023

Learning for Work Award

After an extended period of unemployment followed by a family tragedy, Geoff was proud to secure a role with the HS2 project. His construction training not only brought him skills and qualifications, it also empowered him to show his children what a good working life looks like.

Geoff Carter

Learning for Work Award | Sponsored by NOCN

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