Adult learners win awards

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Adult learners win awards

06 October 2014

Adult learners from Bracknell & Wokingham College were recently honoured at the Wokingham Borough Council Community Learner Awards for their achievements during work on local community projects.

The College currently delivers two projects to engage with people living in the Wokingham Borough Council area, supported by the council’s Lifelong Learning team. These are the Getting into Work Project and Engaging Local Communities Project.

Learners on these projects improve their employability skills through courses designed to help them address any skills shortages including self-confidence and work preparation including writing a CV, filling in application forms, and interview skills. Other courses provide more specific work place skills such as training in food hygiene and first aid. Learners are then encouraged to progress into further learning and other opportunities which benefit their families and communities.

Esther Dowling joined the Getting into Work Project which was specifically designed to help jobseekers to develop their employability and has attended a range of classes including taster sessions about careers, confidence building, a Level  2 Award in Food Safety and four ITQ level 1 units. Her achievements led to her receiving an Outstanding Personal Achievement Award at the recent ceremony.

The new skills she acquired have helped Esther to seek new opportunities and successfully find employment.

“Completing a community course has given me the new skills and the confidence I need to try new things and the opportunity to potentially work in different business sectors than those I was able to before”

Georgia Shilton and Tracy Young also received Outstanding Personal Achievement Awards for their achievements on the Engaging Local Communities Project for the Gorse Ride area. They completed a series of taster courses, and following a healthy cooking and eating on a budget course they became involved in a number of community activities, including the establishment of their own cooking club in Finchampstead. More recently they achieved the Level 2 Award in Food Safety and are part of a group which has been approached to help with a community cafe being established in the Parish Centre of St Mary and St John.

Georgia believes the project has had a significant impact on her life:

“We weren’t going anywhere because we didn’t think there was anything out there for us at our age and we actually felt quite useless and didn’t know where to go to better ourselves. This project has changed that and I am now hoping to be able to use the skills I have learned to go back to work in a job where I can progress and I didn’t think I’d be able to do that before. It shows that the community cares about local people.”

Julia Hockley was also involved in an Engaging Local Communities project in the Rainbow Park area. After attending a number of courses in the Rainbow Centre in Winnersh she has become involved in many things in the community and is now a very active member of the Centre Forward Group who help run the Community Centre. She has also encouraged many others to become involved, as a result she received an Inspiring Fellow Learners Award.

Claire McEnoy, Community Development Worker for Finchampstead, believes these projects have had a significant impact in the local area:

“The Engaging Local Communities project has opened opportunities for so many in our community and has been a real life line for some. It has opened opportunities for residents to learn new skills that they would not have necessarily been able to access otherwise, building confidence in their own ability and allowing aspirations for further development. It has also enabled new friendships ensuring a more cohesive community.”

Liz Williams, Community Projects Coordinator for the college was delighted with the recognition the students had received:

“Their progression through projects and courses run in the Community House has made such a difference to their lives and the way they look at their futures that they really deserved their awards."

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