For most adults writing essays and studying for exams is a thing of the past but the achievements of a host of people who have gone back to learning in later life will be celebrated at a special awards ceremony.
The Sheffield Adult Learners’ Week Awards have been organised by Sheffield City Council’s Lifelong Learning, Skills and Communities department to recognise the hard work and commitment of people who have learnt new skills or gained qualifications in later life.
The ceremony will take place at Sheffield Town Hall between 5.30pm and 7.30pm on Thursday 19 June and will be the highlight of Adult Learners’ Week, which runs nationally from 14 to 20 June 2014.
People looking for new learning opportunities can also attend a Showcasing Adult Learning fair between 2pm and 4pm at the Town Hall on 19 June, which aims to show adults the importance of continuing to learn throughout their lives to improve their wellbeing, confidence and opportunities. Council partners and educational providers will be promoting ways of accessing adult learning courses.
Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said: “I am passionate about supporting people who want to return to education in later life as it’s something I did myself. Adult Learners Week is a great source of information and inspiration for people who want to go back to college or university or even take on voluntary roles to broaden their skills and opportunities.
“I’m sure the awards ceremony will be the highlight of the day and I wish all the nominees the best of luck. I hope they inspire other people to tackle new learning opportunities too.”
More than 30 groups and 60 individuals have been nominated in two award categories at the Sheffield Adult Learners’ Week Awards by third sector organisations who deliver adult learning opportunities in the city.
Learners are also being encouraged to get creative by submitting drawings, poems, videos or written case studies to show how they, or their families, have benefitted from their learning experience. Prizes will be awarded to the best entries.
The overall individual and family/group award winners will be awarded certificates by Jayne Ludlam, the council’s Executive Director of Children, Young People and Families.
Maxine Bowler, learning manager for the Heeley Development Trust, will be exhibiting a stall at this year’s event and has also nominated top learners for the Sheffield Adult Learners’ Week Awards.
She said: “We will be hosting a stall again at this year’s Adult Learners’ Week fair to help people find out how they can engage in adult learning courses and training sessions. It’s a fantastic community event which really helps inspire people from all walks of life who perhaps left education early or straight after school and don’t know about the fantastic opportunities out there for them now.
“I’d encourage anyone who is looking for a way back into learning or who wants to develop their opportunities and career to come along because we can help inspire everyone to reach their potential.”
For more information about hosting a stall at the Showcasing event contact Emily Croft from the Lifelong Learning, Skills and Communities department on Emily.Croft@sheffield.gov.uk.