Buckinghamshire Adult Learning Awards celebrates star learners and staff


Winners and nominations were celebrated at the Buckinghamshire Adult Learning Awards 2019 held at the Waterside Theatre as part of the national Festival of Learning in June. The annual event which was attended by over 130 people recognises learners, trainees, assessors, tutors, learning support assistants, volunteers and staff.


This year’s ceremony marked the first time that the celebrations were extended to include learners from Buckinghamshire Adult Learning’s new Traineeship scheme which offers high quality work experience placements and employability workshops to young people aged 16 to 24. Also included in the awards were nominations from the Supported Internship programme which provides work opportunities for young adults with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.


Sandra Bacon from Aylesbury, who is a learner in English and Family Learning, was crowned Adult Learner of the Year 2019. She was nominated by her tutors Iva Abbey and Jill Organ for her commitment and effort, as well as her enthusiasm and diligence in hard times. Sandra said of her journey, “My Buckinghamshire Adult Learning classes have made me feel more confident, more than ‘just a mum’, and have given me the old Sandra back


“I now realise that I am capable of doing anything I want to. My classes have been wonderful and the teachers are fantastic."


The title of Trainee of the Year was scooped by Alicia Stocke from Aylesbury who was also commended for her drive and commitment, as well as completing her work before the end of the trainee programme and getting a job interview for which she was successful.


Tim Wright from Chesham, who has taught English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) for Buckinghamshire Adult Learning for 13 years, was awarded ‘Tutor of the Year 2019’ after being nominated by ESOL Coordinator Laura Delaney.


Laura said, “Tim truly deserves recognition, not only for his professional knowledge, and commitment and dedication to his learners, but his incredible ability to consistently and positively share his good practice and professionalism throughout his team and the wider service."


The ‘Learning Support Assistant of the Year’ accolade went to Gay Hutchings-Hay from High Wycombe, who has worked for Buckinghamshire Adult Learning for two years on a number of ESOL and English courses, as well as courses for adults with learning disabilities. The final award of Volunteer of the Year was handed to Richard Vincent, from Aston Clinton, for his work in classes for adults with learning disabilities.


The awards event was attended by the County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Anita Cranmer who presented the certificates and awards to nominees and winners; and Sarah Callaghan, Service Director for Education.


Cabinet Member Anita Cranmer said, “Buckinghamshire Adult Learning programmes have changed many people’s lives by being part of their journeys of self-development and reaching new heights


“I am delighted to see recognition and reward for everyone’s achievements. This year’s ceremony has really shed a spotlight on the amount of dedication within Buckinghamshire Adult Learning, from learners as well as staff.”

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