The Open College Network NI (OCN NI) has unveiled the shortlist for its upcoming Learning Endeavour Awards 2020, which will take place in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast, on March 23.
OCN NI is an educational charity and awarding body that advances education by developing qualifications for adults and young people throughout Northern Ireland.
The awards shortlist includes nominees from all over Northern Ireland and covers categories such as Third Sector Learner of the Year, Further Education Learner of the Year, Schools Learner of the Year and Inspiring Tutor/Teacher of the Year.
An unprecedented number of entries were submitted with a huge 62.5 per cent increase on last year.
The event has been timed to form an important part of the Belfast Festival of Learning (March 23-27) which will see a range of additional high-profile events take place across the city.
Guest speaker at the event will be Peter Boyle, CEO of jewellery chain Argento.
Martin Flynn, CEO of OCN NI, said: “We are thrilled at the fantastic response we have received for this year’s Learning Endeavour Awards. The calibre of entries was extremely high and we wish all participants the best of luck.
“I am also delighted to announce that the guest speaker at this year’s event will be local entrepreneur Peter Boyle, CEO of jewellery giant, Argento.
“Peter has a fascinating story to tell, as he started out as a market trader in Belfast before going on to open his first store in 1997.
“Argento now has 24 stores nationwide and is the UK’s largest nomination retailer so no doubt our attendees at the event will be captivated,” added Martin.
The shortlist for the Learning Endeavour Awards: Further Education Learner of the Year – Arlene McCreedy, South Eastern Regional College; Ethan Gould, Belfast Metropolitan College; Joshua Boyle, People 1st; Kerri Forbes, One Eighty Restaurant; Kelly McLaughlin, North West Regional College.
Third Sector Learner of the Year – Sean O’Neill, Action Mental Health, Craigavon; Nikita Hart, Oh Yeah Music Centre; Rosemary Traynor, Action Mental Health, Antrim; Margaret Branney-Jeffray, Action Mental Health, New Horizons Derriaghy; Leanne Reid, Supporting Communities; Raluca Puia, Start360; Philip Neill, One Eighty Restaurant.
Schools Learner of the Year – Fatima Quebe, Abbey Community College; Tiarnan McErlean, St Patrick’s College; Charlene Gallagher, Lakewood School; Steven King, Lakewood School.
Health & Well-being Learner of the Year – Kevin Canning, Action Mental Health, New Horizons Foyle; Marguerite McWilliams, Poleglass Community Association – Sally Gardens; Paula Ellison, Action Mental Health, New Horizons, North Down & Ards; Philip Marten, Belfast Metropolitan College; Rachael Adamson, Action Mental Health, New Horizons Antrim; Terence Halligey, Action Mental Health, New Horizons, North Down & Ards.
Inspiring Tutor/Teacher of the Year – Jamie Maze, Belfast Metropolitan College; Julie Anderson, The Orchardville Society; Ken Allen, ExternWorks; Kerry Boomer, Strangford College; Nathan McConnell, The Orchardville Society; Neil Hoey, People 1st; Pauline Matthew, Action Mental Health, New Horizons, North Down & Ards; Phelim Lundy ExternWorks.
Learning in Employment – Sharon O’Neill, Action Mental Health, New Horizons, Fermanagh; Julia Adams, Action Mental Health, New Horizons Antrim; Dorothy Patterson, Belfast Health & Social Care Trust; Alexander Beatty, Action Mental Health, Antrim.
Provider of the Year – AEL (Access Employment Limited); Lakewood School; NOW Group; Oh Yeah Music Centre; One Eighty Restaurant.