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Double joy for College at West Yorkshire awards ceremony

Press Release Student Recognition Adult Learners Higher Education

Wakefield College award winners John Heaton and Rebecca Mallinder.

Higher Education students from Wakefield College have won two awards at the annual West Yorkshire Lifelong Learning Network (WYLLN) awards. John Heaton, 39, won the Learner Award in the category of Culture, Media and the Arts whilst Rebecca Mallinder, 20, picked up the Learner Award in the category of Leadership, Management, Innovation and Enterprise.

Rebecca has seen a number of new opportunities open up thanks to the HNC in Business she is currently studying. Rebecca has used the knowledge she has gained on the course to help her to secure two promotions at the Yorkshire Ambulance Service where she currently works in risk assurance. Her confidence has soared since starting the course which in turn has improved her presentation skills. Rebecca hopes to progress onto a degree in Business and Management.

Rebecca said: “I was thrilled when I found out I had won. It’s great to receive recognition, for my work. At times it has been challenging but it has definitely been worthwhile and I am already reaping the rewards for my efforts as I have got a new job since doing the course.  My tutor is attending the awards and I am taking my mum along too. She has supported me throughout the course so I want her to be there to see me collect my award.”

John Heaton is currently on the Foundation Degree in Sports Performance and Coaching at the College’s Thornes Park Campus and is also employed by the Batley Bulldogs Rugby League team as strength and conditioning coach. Furthermore, John is a lifetime drug-free bodybuilder who has won many awards, including the 2010 UIBBN World Championships.

Commenting on his award, John said: “I was really pleased when I heard I had won the award. It hasn’t been easy juggling everything. I work full-time, and have three children, so it has been challenging at times. Having my achievements recognised means a lot and I’m looking forward to the ceremony and taking my mum along”. 

The annual Awards recognise inspirational learners from across West Yorkshire who have gained a positive or life changing experience from progressing onto higher education or have gained new skills which will improve their career prospects and the performance of the company they work for. There are also awards for tutors and employers who deserve special recognition for offering encouragement, support or inspiration to work-based learners.

Steve Challenger, Executive Director of the West Yorkshire Lifelong Learning Network which runs the awards, said: “Every year I am surprised by the calibre of the nominations we receive and this year is no exception. Some of the stories are truly inspirational and it is humbling to realise the effort and commitment shown to gain higher level skills.”


CONTACT: For more information email, or telephone 01924 789789.
DATE: 17 June, 2011

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