Sunderland football education scheme wins awards

Members from the Foundation of Light Lifelong Learning team receive their NIACE Award from Margaret Hart of the Open University
Members from the Foundation of Light Lifelong Learning team receive their NIACE Award from Margaret Hart of the Open University
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SUNDERLAND AFC’S Foundation of Light has scored a hat-trick of awards.

The organisation’s Lifelong Learning team bagged three prizes, including one gong from the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), for its Family Learning initiative.

The Family Learning Through Football programme received the Learning Where You Are award at an NIACE ceremony in London, as part of Adult Learning Week.

The programme mixes classroom learning with physical activity fun for youngsters and reached more than 1,500 families last year.

Tutor Ross McNeilly collected the Achieving Excellence in Teaching Award at the Sunderland Family and Adult Community Learning Awards.

His colleague Michael Colcough accepted the Tutor of the Year award at the South Tyneside Adult and Community Learning Awards, an award which he received last year in Wearside’s version of the honours.

Matthew Hill, head of lifelong learning at the foundation, said of the Family Learning Through Football programme: “For some parents and carers this is their first step back into learning since leaving school and often they are lacking in confidence.

“Their original motivation is to help their children, but our programme helps them recognise that they too can be successful learners and it raises their aspirations.

“It’s obviously very nice to have our work recognised in this way and I’m delighted for our tutors on their individual recognition, but the real credit goes to those who take part in the programme.

“It takes a lot for some people to take those first steps and get back into learning and it’s those people who inspire us, helping us gain accolades such as these.”

Speaking about the NIACE award for the programme David Hughes, NIACE chief executive, said: “Every one of our award winners illustrates how learning can help people to change their lives, make them feel part of their community and help support them in their future.

“With dedication, enthusiasm and ambition Family Learning through Football has given people the opportunity to progress by providing the kind of learning they want.”

Twitter: @davidallison88