The life-changing achievements of two former Sunderland College students were honoured at the Celebration of Learning Awards 2015.
Held in Newcastle on Friday 12 June, the event was organised by quality assurance and accreditation provider One Awards.
Through the personal stories of its nominees and winners, the Celebration of Learning Awards demonstrated how learning new skills – at all ages and for all abilities – has transformed and enriched people’s lives. Excellent tutors and course providers were also recognised at the event.
Former students Robyn Sterling and Christopher Chicken, and college tutor Ros Jackson, won awards at the ceremony.
Robyn, who is originally from Dover and now lives in Sunderland, was joint winner of the ‘Life Changing Learner Under 24’ award.
She always had a dream to become a children’s nurse but lacked the qualifications so left her family in Dover to enrol on an Access to Higher Education programme at Sunderland College. Her hard work and determination paid off and Robyn is now studying Children’s Nursing at university.
Christopher, 49, was awarded runner up in the ‘Life Changing 24+’ category.
A self-employed builder who had been out of education for many years, he had a dream of working in healthcare career, helping people. Christopher, from Houghton le Spring, attended Sunderland College on a Pre-Access to Higher Education course, then progressed to Access to Higher Education.
Despite the considerable stress of running his business whilst studying, and also married with a family, Christopher went on to gain a university place in York to study Occupational Therapy. The empowerment of learning has certainly changed his life
Ros, who is also Sunderland College’s chaplain, won runner up in the Learner’s Choice Award.
She is described as an ‘inspirational tutor’ whose commitment to teaching means she organises events and visits way beyond the demands of the Access programme.
Louise Morritt, Chief Executive Officer of One Awards says: “We started the Celebration of Learning Awards in 2009 because we were so impressed at the determination, commitment and triumphs of learners of all abilities and ages over the years and we wished their achievements to be recognised.
“We have also recognised many of our fantastic learning providers and talented tutors who go the extra mile to inspire their students. All our nominees and winners this year will demonstrate how much of a positive difference learning has made.”