A partnership between three Luton organisations has won the Adult Learners’ Week ‘Learning Through Partnership’ award.
The award was presented to the three organisations, Luton Adult Community Learning, ACE Enterprises (part of SEPT-NHS, Luton) and voluntary group MAD (Make a Difference), who pooled their resources to offer a visual arts course to a group of learners recovering from mental health illnesses.
Learners on the course worked on a project to paint backdrops and make props for the community play ‘Rainbow Redemption’. The play examined the often stark realities faced by those living with mental health illnesses and was performed at Luton Library Theatre in October 2011.
Adult Learners’ Week – celebrated this year from 14 to 18 May - culminates in an award ceremony which applauds achievement and recognises good practice in the field of learning across Bedfordshire and Luton.
The awards, presented by the Learning Partnership of Bedfordshire and Luton, aim to highlight the value and huge variety of learning activities which take place throughout the region. In particular, they recognise innovative developments, which have widened participation and social inclusion.
There were eight award categories in total and the ‘Learning Through Partnership’ award was won by the three Luton organisations.
Learners and representatives from the three partnership organisations attended the award ceremony which was held in the beautiful surroundings of Shuttleworth College on Friday, 18 May.
David Blakeman, Director of Luton Town Football Club, joined Heather Maggs, Chairperson of the Learning Partnership to present the winners with their awards. Award winners were presented with a local award certificate and a £200 voucher to be redeemed against future courses of learning.
Mumtaz Mohammed, one of the learners on the course, spoke to assembled guests to describe how the project has helped him to engage with creative art and given him a new focus.
Gail Dearing of SEPT-NHS, said: “I remember how this all started – over a cup of coffee and a discussion. It’s amazing how much can come from a cup of coffee!”
Teresa King, Informal Learning Manager for Luton Adult Community Learning, said: “It has been a very proud afternoon for all of us and we have had a wonderful time today.”
Cllr Waheed Akbar, Portfolio Holder for adult learning, said: “I would like to personally congratulate all three organisations on this fantastic initiative which demonstrates the power of partnership working to make a real difference in people’s lives. This award is thoroughly deserved and shows the organisations' tremendous contribution to the community.”
Working in partnership has meant that new creative arts project associated with the Olympic Torch in Luton celebrations is now underway.