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The first Calderdale Adult Learner of the Year Award is announced

13th May 2009 <b>The</b> first Calderdale Adult Learner of the Year Award is announced

A new award has celebrated the achievements of adults who have gone back into education and changed their lives, often overcoming personal barriers. The first Calderdale Adult Learner of the Year Award, organised by Calderdale College, invited nominations from 19 adult learning providers across Calderdale. The panel of four judges was made up of: Eileen Fawcett, head of Adult Learning for Calderdale Council; Neil Davidson, corporate social responsibility manager for Marshalls; Michael Ainsworth, marketing manager for Calderdale College and Craig Tupling, head of student services at Calderdale College.

A new award has celebrated the achievements of adults who have gone back into education and changed their lives, often overcoming personal barriers. The first Calderdale Adult Learner of the Year Award, organised by Calderdale College, invited nominations from 19 adult learning providers across Calderdale. The panel of four judges was made up of: Eileen Fawcett, head of Adult Learning for Calderdale Council; Neil Davidson, corporate social responsibility manager for Marshalls; Michael Ainsworth, marketing manager for Calderdale College and Craig Tupling, head of student services at Calderdale College. Nigel Stott, from Siddal, 44, a concrete operative with Marshalls, was named Calderdale Adult Learner of the Year. Mr Stott, who left school with no qualifications, signed up to study Trowel Trade Occupations at the North Halifax Construction Skills Academy in Club Lane 15 months ago. "Nigel's skill levels quickly surpassed those of everyone, and he's come in on his free days and at weekends to help to construct sections of our new academy and to help other students", said tutor Andy Jowett. "I'm really proud to have worked with him". Nigel, married to Linda with children Amy, 23 and Joshua 12, said "I'm quite shocked to have won. I've never won anything before. I'm planning on using my new skills to help with building on charity projects." Runner up for the Calderdale Adult Learner of the Year Award was Claire Smith, 25, from Lee Mount. Claire returned to learning with A & R Training in Clare Road two years ago, on a voluntary course for New Deal lone parents, to gain experience in Business Administration. The company spotted her potential and snapped her up to work for them and to teach others. "Claire's confidence is now at an all time high and her infectious desire to learn and progress is an inspiration to everyone", said her manager, Elizabeth Bates. "She's also now able to provide for herself and her young son, has just returned from her first holiday abroad with him and has been able to move to a new home". Claire, whose son Owen is now five said "My learning has not just made a difference to my life, it has simply ‘made my life'. I am now doing a job I love and my life is on track". Presenting the awards, Chris Jones, Principal of Calderdale College said "This is a first-time award for Calderdale and we hope it will become an annual event. All the nominees we have met tonight are winners and their stories are inspirational. We give them our congratulations."
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