Wiltshire Family and Community Learning would like to celebrate the achievements and efforts of our learners and staff through the "Learner of the Month" and other celebrations throughout the year.
Overcoming Challenges Award
1st place Paisley Wilkins
Runner up Zoe Stephens
This award celebrates learners who have overcome difficulties and challenges to improve their lives. This describes the winner completely. She has been such a strong person, facing and overcoming challenges that many of us couldn't even imagine tackling.
We have seen her on and off during these difficult times and are astounded at how she has not only coped but been determined to use learning as her step to a better future.
What the winner is not aware of, is her impact on other learners without being asked, other learners have instantly told me what a lovely person she seems to be. Despite the difficult times she has faced, she has remained warm and kind towards other people.
She wants to be the best that she can be and she is not afraid to work for that, she is now thinking about the next steps in her learning and is ready to face a much brighter future. She is a true inspiration.
Outstanding Learner Award
1st place Hannah Wilkins
Runner up Matthew James
The winner of this award has been attending Family and Community Learning courses for two years. She quickly proved herself to be highly-motivated, with excellent attendance on her courses, despite the demands of life as a busy mum to four children. She is a great role model to others by conscientiously completing her homework each week and trying out the ideas with her family at home that we explore in class. She sets a fantastic example to her children, and they do their homework all together.
When she first joined us, she was always encouraging and supportive to other members of the group, but she struggled to speak kindly about herself and her own good qualities. It has been an immense pleasure to watch her confidence blossom each week.
The journey this person has taken to develop such a confident and positive vision for her future is phenomenal. She is an inspiration to her family, and to all who meet her, through her commitment and dedication to learning and life.
Life Change and Progression Award
1st place: Katie Louise Hunt
The winner of this award is someone whose commitment to learning is second only to the commitment she has shown in improving her chances of progressing her life and making changes. She was totally committed to her learning and her aim was clear: To get a better job in order to support her young family.
Working long hours, being a carer for two young children and running a household, she also found the time and energy to attend classes with us. She talked about wanting to, indeed, needing to change jobs, so it was recommended that she join our employability classes. She was lacking in confidence, felt trapped and was then diagnosed with a condition which was aggravated by stress and exhaustion. It was at this point that her determination and motivation to keep learning really shone through.
She had indeed caught the ‘learning bug' and signed up for more courses. The next piece of good news is that she has successfully secured a new job that suited her needs much better within two weeks of completing her learning. This is a truly remarkable achievement for a person who fights against all the odds with a single-minded determination to achieve the best she can. Her achievements are worth celebrating!
Health and Wellbeing Award
1st place Stacy Baxter
Runner up Rebecca Morgan
This person has been nominated for the Health and Wellbeing award as she has made significant improvements towards her wellbeing and that of her children. She is a single mother who started learning with us at the beginning of this academic year; she is now completing her third course of study. Embarking on her learning journey with us lead to her recognising the benefits of engaging in learning, attending courses that boost wellbeing and interaction with her children.
The impact that learning has had on the winner and her children can be demonstrated in the activities that they do together. She has learned the value of creating things with her children, storytelling, reading, talking about books and going for walks together.
Although she has had significant obstacles in her life, she is committed to identifying the issues and tackling them in ways that benefit herself and her family. She has embarked on a journey that she recognises will improve the wellbeing and successful life chances of the whole family and is setting realistic goals and aspirations for herself. The learning seed has been firmly planted!
Functional Skills Learner Award
1st place Kym Hugo
Runner up Grace Mkwanda
The winner was working towards a level 1 Maths qualification and had little confidence in her performance.
Even though she was not confident in her maths ability, she demonstrated a spark of determination and desire to achieve. She was dedicated to every piece of work she did and soon her confidence began to grow, she asked questions, completed independent learning and it became clear that she was able to achieve even more than she had originally hoped for.
In the sessions, she became more confident in sharing her answers and explaining her reasoning, entering into mathematical discussions with her fellow learners.
When we entered her for her exam, it was level 2 we entered her for and she aced it!
Closing the Gap Award
1st place Suzanne Chowney
Runner up: Jessica Angell
The award winner has demonstrated how learning can make a big impact on family life.
The winner of this award joined us this year as a returning learner. Her confidence and self-esteem were at a low ebb, and as a mum to three including a new born baby, she was not able to give time to herself to support her own mental health and well-being. Her confidence grew over the course - she became more willing to speak in the group and she set herself targets regarding carving out a little ‘me-time' to enable her to have more positive ways of stress-relief.
She is extremely motivated by her children, and eager to learn more to support them, and to achieve her goals of further education and working in school.
She has made great strides in improving her confidence and well-being and we look forward to supporting her further on her journey to reach her goals.
Into Work Award
1st place Jamie Lee Waller
Runner up Monika Bednarz
The award winner is an individual who has demonstrated outstanding determination to improve their employability through learning, with the aim or outcome of getting a job.
The winner of this award has a personality that you warm to immediately. His conversation is often self-deprecating but never self-pitying. This is a man who knows what it is like to hit rock bottom but is determined to claw his way to the light.
His tutor said about him: "During the courses, we spent a lot of time together, and each day I observed how his confidence grew. He would begin a task by declaring that he couldn't do something; before proving to me, his fellow learners and most of all to himself that he could not only achieve tasks, but he could achieve them very well."
He is resilient, determined and has a desire to succeed. It is certain that his diligence, conscientiousness and dogged determination will continue to assist him in achieving his life goals. He intends to attend further Wiltshire Family and Community Learning courses but is currently busy exceeding all expectations by holding down not one but two jobs.
Suzanne is extremely motivated by her children, and eager to learn more to support them, and to achieve her goals of further education and working in a school.
Suzanne is an active member of the group and an excellent role model e.g. asking for homework and modelling great parenting skills when involving her child in the different activities.
Monika is a keen and enthusiastic learner, and a very valuable member of each group. She is friendly, welcoming and very supportive to others. She shows great compassion and empathy for the needs of others. She goes the extra mile for others in the group.
"Through the past few years Family Learning in Wiltshire gave me the opportunity to develop my skills in Maths and English. Now with the Level 2 qualifications, in both subjects, in my pocket, I am more confident in my employability.
The support from tutors is amazing, not only I have received support throughout the course, but also advice on next steps, useful links and interesting possibilities. Looking forward to more learning opportunities"
Louise has shown determination in completing her English Level 1 qualification this year.
Each week she built on her previous skills and her hard work, home learning and practising paid off when she achieved her qualification.
Louise has given excellent support to others in the group. She is kind, considerate and thoughtful and shows great initiative and kindness towards her fellow students.
Alongside her studies, Louise gives back to the community and builds her skills by volunteering with a children's nursery and helping people with physical disabilities.
Hannah was extremely nervous but she overcome her nerves and worked hard to complete her exam.
She has shown determination and resilience to overcome her classroom fears and is now a proud parent who consistently reaffirms the positive impact that adult learning can have.
"Without the support and advice the team have given me I would not be where I am today. Beaming with pride, confidence and the ability to support my children with their learning better. So a huge thank you to the team for all your time, hard work, support and devotion."
Julie was nominated as learner of the month for the great resilience she showed when taking her Level 2 Functional Skills reading exam. Her confidence in her own abilities faltered just before the exam,but she persevered and her hard work paid off as she passed with flying colours! As well as studying English and preparing for exams, Julie has also taken on two volunteering opportunities within the last two months. Julie is a kind and patient member of the group; she keeps in close contact with other learners so they can support and encourage each other during the week.
"I have shown myself that with a little help and an understanding tutor that I can achieve more in the future." Julie Godwin
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