GALLERY: Young learners and Fenland Council recognised at inaugural skills award ceremony

PUBLISHED: 18:31 16 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:06 02 June 2010

Hannah Meen Ward, pictured right, was highly commended in the 17-19 learner award and won the skills for the community award. She is pictured with Ray Stubbs and Isaac Twigden.

Hannah Meen Ward, pictured right, was highly commended in the 17-19 learner award and won the skills for the community award. She is pictured with Ray Stubbs and Isaac Twigden.

TWO young learners and Fenland District Council s commitment to skills have been recognised at a glittering awards ceremony. The inaugural Big Skill Awards were held on Monday in Peterborough, run by the Learning and Skills Council in association with BBC

TWO young learners and Fenland District Council's commitment to skills have been recognised at a glittering awards ceremony.

The inaugural Big Skill Awards were held on Monday in Peterborough, run by the Learning and Skills Council in association with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

They recognise and reward people who have improved their life or the lives of others through learning.

Fenland District Council won the Employer Commitment to Skills Award, for its commitment to improving the skills of staff.

Shari Khan, the council's change and development manager, said: "This is recognition of what we do across the company. Everyone in the organisation gets an equal chance to develop their skills, and as a result improve their life chances as well."

Louise Smith, from Wisbech, was the winner of the 17-19 learner award.

Hannah Meen-Ward, from Whittlesey, was highly commended in the same category and won the Skills for the Community Award.

On receiving the award, she said: "I'm trying to stop myself from crying. It meant a lot to be highly commended in the other category, so to win this is great.

"My boss' son has special needs and that inspired me to work with people with special needs."

All the winners were presented with a certificate, trophy and a £150 experience day voucher by BBC Sport presenter Ray Stubbs, who launched The Big Skill in Peterborough in January.

Graham Brough, area director at LSC Cambridgeshire, said The Big Skill had done a great job of raising awareness of the learning and training opportunities on offer in Cambridgeshire.

"It's been wonderful to celebrate and recognise the real achievements of learners across the county," he added.

"The Big Skill winners should be an inspiration to others and show that it is possible to overcome challenges and learn new skills that can open doors and change lives for the better."

FULL LIST OF WINNERS

14-16 Learner Award

WINNER: Lida Karaoglan, from Peterborough

"I didn't expect to get the award at all. The learning I've done has really made a massive difference to me. I didn't want to carry on at first but now I'm so into it and I love it. I used to have plans to be a solicitor but that completely changed, but I'm so happy it did."

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Jack Bainbridge, from Earith

17-19 Learner Award

WINNER: Louise Smith, from Wisbech

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Hannah Meen-Ward, from Whittlesey

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Isaac Twigden, from Peterborough

Adult Learner Award

WINNER: Stuart McCallum, from Cambridge

"I'm a bit surprised to win! I've come a lot further than I ever thought I would, I even bypassed two years on my course. The award is a good inspiration to keep going, although it is a lot more training, five more years, so we'll see what my plans are."

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Hayley Horrod, from Ely

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Peter Robinson, from Sawston

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Catherine Buyoya, from Peterborough

Skills for the Community Award

WINNER: Hannah Meen-Ward, from Whittlesey

"I'm trying to stop myself from crying. It meant a lot to be highly commended in the other category (17 to 19 learner award), so to win this is great. My boss' son has special needs and that inspired me to work with people with special needs."

Skills for Work Award

WINNER: April Baker, from Cambridge

"I'm very surprised. This is good recognition for my company as well as myself. They've done so much to support me personally and for my career."

Employer Commitment to Skills Award

WINNER: Fenland District Council

Shari Khan, the council's change and development manager, said: "This is recognition of what we do across the company. Everyone in the organisation gets an equal chance to develop their skills, and as a result improve their life chances as well."

The Learners' Champion Award

WINNER: Steve Gayfer, from Cambridge

"This is fantastic - a real achievement for teaching and learning. My inspiration to teach comes from the students and staff I work with, and seeing the students progress into employment, that's what it's all about."

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Nanak Singh, from Cambridge

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Tapiwa Katsande, from Cambridge

The Big Skill Excellence Award 2009

WINNER: Steve Gayfer, from Cambridge

"I've seen a radical change in teaching across my career. Students enjoy learning, it's wonderful to see, it's a transformation. Students are more engaged, and go on to their chosen careers. People from all backgrounds are progressing. Recently I began teaching the son of one of the first students I taught which shows how long I've been doing this - if people are wanting to send their children to me I'm really happy about that... It's such a lovely surprise to win this, I'm here with the support of my colleagues and my line manager."

Apprenticeship Awards 2009

Cambridgeshire Apprentice of the Year: Will Osborne (Highly commended: Reema Pate and Lara Van Der Merwe)

Employer of the Year: Cundy Anglia Ltd (Highly commended - Commercial Utility Brokers and The Wacky Hair Company)


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