College’s adult learners shine at annual awards ceremony
Borders College students swept the board at the recent Adult Learners Awards ceremony, which saw College entrants taking the title in an impressive six of the eight award categories.
Now in their 19th year, the awards (organised by Borders College, Live Borders, Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Borders Housing Association, Skills Development Scotland and Volunteer Centre Borders) are an opportunity to tell the stories of these learners so that others may be inspired to raise their aspirations and improve their life chances through learning.
Held to celebrate the achievements of adult learners across the region who, often at times against considerable odds, take their future into their own hands and take advantage of the range of opportunities available to them to enhance their knowledge, quality of life and job prospects.
This year, awards were presented to the following winners from Borders College:
Lauren Gunn, winner of the Young Learner (16-25 years) Award, is currently studying towards a National Certificate in Childcare and Development and has demonstrated great commitment by balancing her full-time studies with caring for her four young children.
Meanwhile Daniel Murray, a former Project SEARCH Intern at the Borders General Hospital and winner of the Learner in the Workplace Award, was recognised for overcoming a number of barriers and successfully achieving his dream of gaining employment.
Winner of the Mature Learner (50+ years) Award, HNC Social Services student Yvonne Ballard’s passion for learning and high standard of academic work was also rewarded.
A spokesperson for the Syrian ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) group, who were named Overall winners of the Learning in a Group Award, said:
“The class has taught us to speak, read and write in English which has been so important in helping us and our families to settle into Scotland.”
Students on the Skills for Learning and Work 2B programme were proud to receive the Learning through Volunteering Award, in recognition of their contribution to a woodlands regeneration project at Abbotsford House, as well as their ability to overcome personal and societal barriers in order to take part.
And finally, Aida Valdmoniene was named winner of the ESOL Learner Award – after arriving in the Borders only 6 years ago, Aida completed a series of English classes, working her way up from entry level studies to her current Care Higher.
Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People, said:
“As always, these awards represent a tremendous amount of courage and commitment on behalf of the nominees and they are to be congratulated for their hard work. Each individual will have overcome their own unique and personal barriers to learning that I wish them well with whatever they go on to do as a result of their achievements.
“The quality of nominations was outstanding this year, leading the judging panel to make the unusual decision of recognising two overall winners, one individual and one group. Many congratulations to our very worthy group of winners for their particularly commendable efforts.
“I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing commitment, enthusiasm and hard work of the tutors who have each made a significant contribution to not only the learning that has been achieved, but also the personal development that will have taken place as part of each adult’s individual journey to success.
“This was once again a very special occasion and everyone who took part should be very proud of their contribution.”
Borders College extends its congratulations to all of the entrants and winners on their achievements.
Published: Tue 8th May, 2018