Adult learners praised in award ceremony

Hard working learners from around North Tyneside have been honoured in the Annual North Tyneside Learner Awards.

Organised by North Tyneside Council, the ceremony celebrated adult learners’ achievements and praised their hard work.

A total of six awards were up for grabs, and winners took home a shopping voucher and a glass trophy.

The awards were presented by Elected Mayor for North Tyneside, Norma Redfearn CBE, and the event was introduced by Paul Hanson, Chief Executive of North Tyneside Council.

This year’s event was sponsored by Shirley Hallam, President of Soroptimist International, who kindly donated the prize and trophy for the “Shirley Hallam Reaching for the Stars” Volunteer Award.

This year’s winners included

The Sandra Girvan Adult Learner of the Year award was won by Leanne Robson, who attended a Hospitality and Catering programme delivered in partnership with YMCA North Tyneside whilst juggling family life. She continued to achieve her qualification and went on to volunteer in the kitchen developing a range of skills. Leanne supported the Make Christmas Special campaign whilst struggling with her own family’s needs but offering valuable support that was welcomed by several families. In the new year she applied for a catering job in Gateshead where she successfully secured full time employment and continues to go from strength to strength.
Jeanette Hedley Apprentice of the Year: Emily Tweedy was nominated for the apprenticeship category and managed to win ahead of very stiff competition from other apprentices. Emily works as a Business Admin apprentice for Engie and is working towards her level 4 Business Administration apprenticeship. She has been recognised for her commitment and strong work ethic in never giving up and developing a strategy in sharing the benefits of apprenticeships with other young people through her Dragons Den project. Due to her hard work, Engie have fast tracked her application to the Graduate Training scheme 2020 in recognition of her hard work and achievement.
Young Learner of the Year: Jake Fox was recognised for this award due to his commitment to attending maths functional skills classes where he showed an aptitude for new and inventive ideas whilst supporting others which made him a popular member of the class. He is keen to take on more challenging work and continues to excel in all that he does. This award was kindly sponsored by YMCA North Tyneside.
English/Maths Learner of the Year award: Doreen Beck won the English/maths award after attending functional skills classes where she had previously struggled with her English skills. She attended all of her classes despite weather and mobility issues and has challenged herself to attain further maths qualifications in addition to her English. This award was kindly sponsored by Northern Growth Academy.
Volunteer of the Year award: Gillian Parkinson was the overall winner of this award with Derek Dawson being the runner up. Gillian has volunteered with the service classes for 12 years now and her patience and sense of humour contribute to the positive learning atmosphere in class. She has a very supportive approach to learners and has the ability to explain maths concepts clearly in a language learners understand. Derek was chosen as runner up in this category. He volunteers with a group of learners who have disabilities in a construction class and his support is invaluable. He has shown a real creative flair and supports learners with their choices of colours and designs in classes.
Class of the Year: Vocational Study Programme received the award for this category due to their hard work, teamwork and drive to achieve whilst overcoming a range of barriers. They participated in a range of activities including charity events and fund raisers contributing ideas and taking on their own individual roles with enthusiasm. Highly Commended: Phoenix Study Programme run in Partnership with Phoenix Detached Youth Project were also chosen to be recognised due to the development of their construction skills during their course and their success in securing positive progression opportunities following the completion of their programme.
For more information about adult learning in North Tyneside visit or call (0191) 643 2288.