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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2024

Return to Learning Award

Angie discovered the joy of learning after her GP provided details of courses available through the Bournemouth Churches Housing Association (BCHA) Learn service. Angie immediately noticed the benefits of learning to her mental wellbeing and social life, and she is now an advocate for adult education in her local community.

Angie Collard

Return to Learning Award | Sponsored by City Lit

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Joanne Hassan 3 (1)

2024

Finalist

After years of struggling with a lack of purpose, Joanne discovered her love of learning through a sustainable cookery course at her local WEA (Workers’ Educational Association). Joanne soon realised she wanted more in life and began volunteering at a local school helping to run the breakfast club. Fast forward two years and she is now studying to become a teaching assistant.

Joanne Hassan

Finalist

Meet the winner
FoL_2024 (1)

2024

Finalist

Jenny is an inspirational tutor who builds meaningful relationships with her learners at Wiltshire Council’s Family and Community Learning service. She develops an exceptional environment of trust with her learners which enables them to take positive steps to articulate and achieve their dreams.

Jenny Ham

Finalist

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2024

Learning for Health Award

Inspiring Minds is delivered by mental health charity START and aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the people of Salford through the delivery of creative arts and horticulture activities. Almost 500 learners per year benefit from their person-focussed programme, enabling them to gain new skills and qualifications, and ultimately find the aspiration to lead a better life.

Inspiring Minds

Learning for Health award

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Susannah-Festival_of_Learning_2

2024

Learning for Health Award

Susannah’s world was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with incurable metastatic cancer. Determined not to let her diagnosis control her, Susannah enrolled in the Contemporary Practice and Developing Art Practice courses at City Lit, using what she learned to explore her relationship with cancer.

Susannah Goulding

Learning for Health award

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2024

Patron's Award

After a sudden life changing illness left him blind and paralysed, Farhad joined the New Beginnings programme at University of East London. He excelled at the course, making incredible progress physically, personally and academically. He quickly progressed to a BSc Banking and Finance and has now secured a highly competitive internship with Barclays Bank.

Farhad Hussain

Patron's award

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2024

President's Award

Nottingham College leads a transformative partnership with local stakeholders to deliver a truly holistic, multi-agency ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) service across the city and communities it serves.

Nottingham College ESOL and BEGIN Project

President's award

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FOL 5 (2)

2024

Finalist

After being badly bullied at school and leaving with no qualifications, Donna made the choice to return to learning at the age of 50. From her initial start as a nervous and shy member of both her Functional Skills English and Maths classes, Donna is now an inspiration to her peers, volunteers with her local community club and plans to continue learning into the future.

Donna Ridings

Finalist

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Breadwinners

2024

Employer Award

Breadwinners is a social enterprise giving young refugees and people seeking asylum their first employment in the UK. Over the last five years, Breadwinners have supported more than 400 young people through their programmes, with impressively high success rates in improving learners' wellbeing and supporting them to gain meaningful employment.

Breadwinners

Employer award | Sponsored by NOCN

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2024

Learning Provision Award

WHM Work Connections (WHM) is an innovative and renowned Community Life Choices Service within Leicestershire. By providing a combination of continued training, work experience, and accredited courses, WHM supports adults with learning disabilities on their individual personal development pathways.

WHM Work Connections

Learning Provision award

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2024

New Directions Award

Following a decade-long career in food retail, Shez changed direction and followed her passion for carpentry and joinery. Shez completed construction courses at Bolton College and overcame obstacles to entering a male-dominated industry, and now works at a bespoke cabinet makers.

Shez Grigg

New Directions Award | Sponsored by Skills and Education Group

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Sobia Soz - Festival of Learning (4) (4)

2024

Finalist

Sobia embarked on her learning journey to rebuild her life and confidence after overcoming significant trauma and adversity, including divorce and losing support networks. Sobia achieved the highest grade possible in her English GCSE, whilst also completing a range of other courses. She is now learning British Sign Language to make her practice as an education support worker more inclusive.

Sobia Soz

Finalist

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2024

Tutor Award

Ana started her journey to becoming a tutor as a learner on a care course at Embark Learning where she now teaches. Her motivation to teach comes from her passion for working in care and hopes to inspire the next generation of carers.

Ana Geada

Tutor award | Sponsored by Education and Training Foundation

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Helen (2)

2024

English Language Learning Award

Helen arrived in the UK with her family as a war refugee from Ukraine. While completing her ESOL and Community Interpreting courses at Redbridge Institute of Adult Education, she volunteered to support others from the Ukrainian community, setting up a dedicated community centre. Helen is now a valuable member of the team at Work Redbridge, where she helps people find education and employment opportunities.

Helen Tkachenko

English Language Learning award

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2024

Learning for Work Award

Wayne found himself out of work and struggling to provide for his family as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Everything changed with a career switch into rail with National Infrastructure Solutions, and Wayne now looks forward to training other newcomers to the industry.

Wayne Hardman

Learning for Work award | Sponsored by NOCN

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2024

Learning with Technology award

CodeYourFuture provides free technology and soft skills training to disadvantaged and marginalised adults, enabling them to start careers in tech. Their 12-month vocational course, delivered by volunteers from the tech industry, has helped over 250 learners to gain the technical and soft skills they need.

CodeYourFuture

Learning With Technology award | Sponsored by Ufi VocTech Trust

Meet the winner