Adult learners embrace second chance

Nathan Marsden with Anne Isherwood, Principal at Sunderland College.

Nathan Marsden with Anne Isherwood, Principal at Sunderland College.

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SCORES of adult learners celebrated in style at their graduation ceremony.

More than 80 Sunderland College students were given recognition during the event held at the Stadium of Light.

This year, the Principal’s Award was given to Nathan Marsden, 21, from Doxford Park, who has just completed the Steps 4 Change Programme. which aims to give young people a second chance in education.

Nathan’s determined fund-raising work for the college’s life-saving mission to an East African orphanage to teach people about hygiene and disease prevention, secured him the award.

He said: “I am so pleased to be rewarded for my part in the project. It is great to know it had such a significant impact on so many lives. I was so surprised to hear my name when they announced the winner.

“Although I didn’t get to go to Tanzania to see the people the project helped, the team that went told me all about how our hard work had benefited the communities there.”

Anne Isherwood, principal at Sunderland College, said: “Nathan is a credit not only to the college but also to Sunderland. His hard work and determination has helped so many people living in a community so far away from where he lives.”

Ashleigh Hudson, 22, from Grindon, picked up Apprentice Of The Year Award for her work throughout her course in business administration and her commitment to helping young people who are not in work or education, as a result of which she recently met Prime Minister, David Cameron.

She said: “I left school at 15 and became homeless and by the time I was 18 I was living in sheltered accommodation. I was finally given the chance to start an apprenticeship in business administration.

“Lots of young people are jobless and we need to do something about it. For my work to be recognised is great and I hope it inspires other young people in the area.”