Adult Learner Awards 2020

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**Nominations are now closed forominations for Adult Learners Awards 2020**.

Now in their 22nd year, the Awards celebrate and promote the learning achievements of adults (16+, post-school) throughout the Borders who have overcome barriers and used learning to improve their lives and the lives of others.

Do you know someone who should be nominated?

Not sure whether to make a nomination? Talk to any member of the planning team (Volunteer Centre Borders, Borders College, Eildon Housing, Skills Development Scotland, Live Borders and SBC's Community Learning and Development service)

Here's a snap shot of some of last year's nominations to give you ideas:

Russell Anderson, 25 yrs, Hawick
Russell moved to the Borders three years ago and while working full-time on a farm he was also training five days per week for his rugby career. When Russell started at the farm his job was labouring (fencing, cutting grass, planting vines) until he offered to help with the farm admin. As he was enjoying his new role his manager proposed he sit a management course and gain a qualification, through the Business Development Unit at Borders College. Russell has studied hard over the last two years whilst working and maintaining his rugby training and during this time, he achieved an SCQF 7 and 9 and is currently working towards SCQF 11. Through this process Russell is more confident and capable in his management role and as such is more comfortable in managing a diverse range of teams and personalities. Russell is planning to continue with his learning path and hopes it will further his career in farming.

Adele Ennis, 17 yrs, Hawick
As a young carer Adele helps her family to look after her sister who has a learning disability, and her mother who has a genetic kidney disorder. School was not a good experience for Adele and on leaving school she began an Activity Agreement programme with SBC. The programme provided 1:1 support to Adele to overcome specific barriers and linked her into support from a range of other local services (including Young Carers, Interest Link, Works +, Employment Support Service and One Step Borders). Working with these services Adele began to feel more positive in herself and was happier than she had been in a long time. Adele engaged in swimming trips which was a big step for her as she had a horrendous experience of nearly drowning in a local pool when she was younger. Adele has also worked hard to overcome her shyness and fear of going on busses. Adele's progress means she is now a confident individual, an independent traveller, volunteers in Oxfam and has achieved a Saltire Award Certificate. Adele is looking for a job to make her even more independent and would like to attend College to continue learning.

Duns and District U3A, Over-50 age group, Duns
A Heart for Duns is a Development Trust and community organisation based at the Volunteer Hall in Duns. Part of their role is the spawning of new initiatives that can help build a strong and vibrant community. With support from Third Age Trust and national U3A Scotland, they have established the Duns and District University of the Third Age. Members come from all walks of life, including those with an academic or higher education background and those who left school at 16. Over 100 people attended the enrolment day on 4th October 2018 and 4 months later, over 160 members are regularly attending one or more groups meeting weekly, fortnightly or monthly to learn together. Learning opportunities include leisure activities (arts and crafts, Scottish dancing, bridge, singing, walking, classical music appreciation) as well as more academic studies (Latin and classical studies, Geology, French, Italian, Spanish, Middle Eastern Studies, Church History) and new ideas are put forward by members every month.

You may nominate individuals and/or groups from people who live in the Borders for the following categories:

• Young learner (16-25yrs)
• Learner in the work place
• Mature learner (50+ yrs)
• Learning in a group
• Learning in the community
• Accredited learning
• Learning through volunteering

Applications can be made by tutors, trainers, colleagues, family members or friends.

The ceremony also provides an opportunity for nominees to share their stories so that others may be inspired to raise their aspirations and improve their life chances through learning.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council's Executive Member for Children and Young People, said: "These awards provide us with such an invaluable opportunity to hear the inspirational stories of individuals and groups who have overcome significant barriers and sought to improve their life chances through some form of learning. As a result, they have developed new skills, increased their confidence and followed their dreams. They have also made important contributions to their families, their workplaces, their communities and most importantly, recognised their own self-worth.

"As always, I look forward to hearing about the learning journeys made by each of this year's nominees, not only in terms of what they have achieved but also the personal development that they will have undertaken as part of that journey. If you know of someone who would be a worthy nominee, don't hesitate. Make sure you get an application in before the deadline so that they can receive the recognition they deserve."

Claire Penny, Executive Officer at Volunteer Centre Borders, added: "Adult learning programmes have changed many people's lives by being part of their journeys of self-development and inspiring them to better themselves by embracing opportunities to learn.

"These awards are a celebration of both our adult learning programmes and the invaluable role of volunteering within the Borders, something that we must work together to sustain and maintain. It means that whoever you are, however old you are and wherever you live there can be opportunities to learn, progress and be involved. Much of this would not be possible without the contribution of volunteers who, not only transform organisations but empower individuals and communities."

The deadline for nominations is 12 noon on 21 February 2020. Forms are available here. Click on the link and print or save the form/s to fill in:

Adult Learner Individual Nomination Form

Adult Learner Group Nomination Form

The awards are organised by Borders College, Live Borders, Scottish Borders Council, Eildon Housing Association, Skills Development Scotland and Volunteer Centre Borders.

The award ceremony will take place on Tuesday 2 April 2020 at Earlston High School.