From education to employment

Borders College Adult Learners Award recipients for 2019 congratulated

The annual Adult Learners Awards ceremony took place at Earlston High School on Tuesday 23 April.

Now in their 21st year, the awards are held to celebrate the achievements of adult learners across the region who, often at times against considerable odds, take their future into their own hands and take advantage of the range of opportunities available to them to enhance their knowledge, quality of life and job prospects.

The awards are also an opportunity to tell the stories of these learners so that others may be inspired to raise their aspirations and improve their life chances through learning.

This year there were eight categories with the winners being:

  • Young learner (16-25 years): Samuel Hartswood
  • Learner in the workplace: Joanne Renwick
  • Mature learner (50+ years): Tam Stewart
  • Learning in a group: Eyemouth Peep Babies
  • Learning in the community: Eilidh Shortreed
  • Accredited learning: Lyndsey Malcolm
  • Learning through volunteering: Adele Ennis
  • Learning English: Martyna Flis
  • Enabling learning through volunteering: Duns and District U3A

Overall individual winner, Ross Mair, said: “I was only put forward for the Young Learner Award, so when they said Overall Winner it was quite unexpected and a bit of a shock. There were many days when I thought college wasn’t for me, due to either social or personal reasons or not feeling I was smart enough to continue in a course which lasted so long. But with the help of my mentor and others who pushed me and reminded me to believe in myself, I was able to keep going.

“I’ve always loved hair and makeup and I love film and what goes on behind the scenes, and in the future I’d love to go on and do the prosthetics and makeup behind the scenes. This gives me the confidence to do that and I’m extremely proud and really thankful for everyone who’s been there and helped me throughout my life and pushed me to keep going.”

Councillor Carol Hamilton, Executive Member for Children and Young People, said: “As always, these awards represent a significant commitment on behalf of all the nominees and they are to be commended for the courage and hard work they have shown in achieving their goals.

“It was not easy for the judges to choose the winners from such a worthy list of nominees but our congratulations go to those who were eventually selected and we wish them well with whatever they go on to do as a result of their achievement.

“I would also like to acknowledge the commitment, enthusiasm and hard work of the tutors and enablers who have each made a significant contribution to not only the learning that has been accomplished, but also the personal development that will have taken place as part of each adult’s individual journey to success.

“This was once again a very special occasion and everyone who took part should be very proud of their contribution.”

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

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