From education to employment

Waltham Forest College Adult Learner Wins Inspirational Festival of Learning Award

Christina Ayinke Omideyi, who lives in Haringey, north London and attends Waltham Forest College, has won the London and South East Social Impact award, as part of Festival of Learning, for her outstanding achievement in adult learning and contribution to her local community. The Festival of Learning Awards showcase and celebrate the wonderful things that learning can achieve for individuals, families, communities and employers.

As well as being a practicing barrister, Christina runs a charity called the OK Foundation, where she helps vulnerable people with a variety of issues such as mental health and homelessness and also runs a regular weekly soup kitchen.

Despite her already busy workload, Christina enrolled onto a catering course at Waltham Forest College, so she could learn the necessary skills to improve the lives of others. She is hoping with appropriate funding in place to run a variety of programmes including Cook and Eat on an ongoing basis to empower different groups of people within her local community.

Festival of Learning is back for its 25th year to celebrate lifelong learning and the benefits it has on people, society and the economy. Inspirational individuals, tutors, projects and employers across the UK are being awarded as part of the Festival – showcasing the impact learning has on their lives and the lives of others. The Festival of Learning is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) which focuses on improving employment opportunities, promoting social inclusion and investing in skills by providing help people need to fulfil their potential.

Christina joins 28 inspirational regional and national winners that have been selected for a range of awards across the four categories – including awards for individual learners, employers, innovative projects and inspirational tutors.

Christina says, “My family is also deriving a great benefit from this learning as our family diet has improved tremendously and we get a lot of satisfaction from experimenting with new skills. We also save a lot of money using up leftover ingredients which would otherwise have gone to waste.”

Stephen Evans, CEO of Learning & Work Institute, which leads the Festival of Learning Awards said: “Christina is a worthy winner of our Social Impact Award for London and the South East, as someone who has gained new skills to empower vulnerable adults living to improve their own physical and mental wellbeing.

“This new award category, supported by WEA, celebrates the achievements of learners who, like Linda, have used their passion and determination to inspire others around them to embrace learning opportunities and achieve their potential.”

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