Adult Skills and Family Learners ‘Learner of the Year’ 2023 Ceremony

Amanda Bere, Krystal Selmi and Ethan Tiffany have been named as Lincolnshire’s Adult Skills and Family Learners of the Year, in light of their hard work and dedication over the past 12 months. They’ve all been supported to grow their confidence as well as their skills, and their stories show how adult learning can be life-changing. It’s hoped their stories will inspire others to take part in the wide range of courses being held around the county.

Amanda’s dream of working in a school is getting closer as a result of her hard work over the last two years. Since summer 2021 she has completed a mammoth 11 courses at CLIP based at Market Rasen, starting with a ‘computers for improvers’ course. She went on to achieve a GCSE English qualification in September 2021, receiving a distinction for speaking and listening. Spurred on by her success, Amanda has taken Functional Maths Level 1, and is now working towards her Functional Maths Level 2 and her Maths GCSE.

She’s also completed a Paediatric First Aid qualification, Safeguarding Level One and is waiting on the result of her Preparing to Work in Schools Level 1 Award. All of these are huge achievements when you consider that Amanda is dyslexic and has juggled her studies with looking after her family.

On being presented with her award, Amanda said “It was a honour to be asked to attend the day at the showground and be evolved and meet the wonderful people accepting there awards a listening to stories a truly inspirational day”.

Krystal’s confidence has grown in leaps and bounds since she began her learning journey at workshops held at her children’s school. The workshops run by Abbey Access Learning Centre, are part of the adult numeracy initiative Multiply where participants were encouraged to use maths in a kitchen environment. This included calculating quantities using fractions, following timings, weighing ingredients and budgeting for the price of the food.

Before taking part Krystal struggled to leave her home because of mental health difficulties caused by physical pain. The overall impact of learning on Krystal has been tremendous and she now actively approaches parents in the playground to promote the Multiply initiative. Krystal has such a different attitude towards learning and it is hoped that she will take the next steps to further her maths skills.

On completion of her course Krystal said “I think you should be thanked, for letting us use your school space and helping getting it running! I really enjoyed the whole day, I liked how it was so laidback and friendly. That it wasn’t just do this and do that, you have to use this… we were allowed to make our own choices/ ingredients. I loved that Kirsty took the time to really explain some maths problems to me and didn’t make me feel stupid. It was nice not to be stuck at home, and socialise with other parents. And nice to cook with all the fresh food that was provided. Thank you all so much”

Ethan, Learner Award Recipient 23

Ethan began his learning journey in 2021 at Riverside Access and Training Centre, looking for support to build his confidence and gain skills and qualifications to help him find work. He has since completed English and maths qualifications as well as taking part in customer services and employability skills courses.

All of his hard work has paid off and in January he gained a role with golf manufacturer Ping which is fantastic news. On being presented with his award by his tutor Louise, Ethan said ‘It was unexpected but I’m happy to have received this award, I have done a lot at Riverside and received a lot of support which has helped me to progress into work, thank you Riverside and LCC for supporting me.’

“Congratulations to all three learners! They have put in so much effort and are reaping the rewards of increased confidence, qualifications and job opportunities. Sometimes, taking the first steps can be the hardest part, but our learning teams and tutors really put people at ease, helping them achieve their goals whatever the circumstances.” – Cllr Patricia Bradwell, executive councillor for adult learning

If you are thinking of upskilling or learning something different, why not check out the LCC courses available throughout Lincolnshire. The majority of courses are free of charge for individuals age 19+.  What have you got to lose – you could be the next recipient of an Adult Skills and Family Learners Award.