Commitment to Learning

12th June 2015 Date of publication

Commitment to Learning
Winner - Kathleen Fowler
Nominator: Sonia Ritchie-Park, Swan Lodge

When I first met Kath she was living at Swan Lodge Lifehouse for the homeless. She’d come from a care background, was very shy and didn’t mix well. Initially, Kath wasn’t interested in doing courses, however, after a chat I found out she was really keen on cooking and when Kath heard we were going to bake she asked if she could join us.

That initial request opened the floodgates! Kath excelled on the course she eventually joined and found that she actually loved being in a classroom and helping others. She’s gone on to complete Level 1 Maths, a Certificate in Skills for Employment, Training and Personal Development, and her Functional Skills in English. Kath refused to allow her problems to detract from her learning and impressively, never missed a session. She has gained stacks of new skills, she now mixes very well with others, has gained massively in confidence, and is tremendously eager to learn. Kath is also now a highly valued volunteer in the kitchen at Swan Lodge.

Kath’s a joy to teach and has overcome so many obstacles to complete her learning. She’s gained her own tenancy and recently has been enjoying getting her new flat in order. However, Kath still comes to Swan Lodge every day to volunteer and next year she is hoping to complete her Level 2 Functional Skills.

Kath deserves recognition for her absolute dedication to learning. She is now an advocate for learning and is looking to become a peer mentor in the future so she can help others get as much out of learning as she has!

(Pictured above Kathleen Fowler and friend Shelley Lillico, receiving Kathleen's award from David Hall, One Awards and David Knight and Graham Hasting-Evans from NOCN)


Commitment to Learning 
Highly Commended - James Richardson
Nominator: Michelle Steven, Redcar Adult Learning Service

James has successfully achieved an Entry Level 3 Award in Skills for Employment and Training. James has an autism spectrum disorder and experiences emotional and behavioural difficulties. James had attended Community Learning courses prior to undertaking his Entry Level 3 Award. He worked alone and his social and interactive skills were very poor.

However, throughout this course the change in James has been absolutely outstanding. Instead of working on his own, he teamed up with another member of the group to complete his theory work in his workbook. James did this every week, and worked with his fellow learner to complete all of his objectives.

Previously, James always worked by himself, on a side work area in the kitchen. During every practical session he didn’t welcome interaction from anybody (including the tutor).

However, with support and encouragement James has made fantastic progress, he moved from working alone on a side area to working on the centre demonstration area with other members of the group. The biggest achievement of all was when James agreed to deliver the practical demonstration to his peers. James weighed and measured for the recipe and followed the practical instructions in front of the whole group. He was, without any doubt, completely amazing! Through learning James has challenged his personal obstacles and completed tasks he never thought would be achievable. James is an inspiration to us all and we are all immensely proud of him and his phenomenal achievements.

(Pictured right Michelle Steven receiving the award on behalf of James from David Hall, One Awards and David Knight and Graham Hasting-Evans from NOCN)

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