Sunderland tutor’s scheme in line for honours

Tutor, Sonia Ritchie-Park has been nominated for an award for the help she gives on her courses for residents at Swan Lodge.
Tutor, Sonia Ritchie-Park has been nominated for an award for the help she gives on her courses for residents at Swan Lodge.
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AN inspirational Wearside tutor and the scheme she founded are in line for a national award.

Swan Lodge Salvation Army lifehouse and its tutor Sonia Ritchie-Park have both been nominated for What’s On 4 Me awards.

The annual awards, now in their sixth year, celebrate the best activities across the UK for both for kids and adults.

Swan Lodge has been put forward in the best community group category and Sonia has been nominated for most inspirational tutor.

This year’s awards cover 12 categories from Most Inspirational Instructor or Tutor to Volunteer of the Year and hundreds of nominations have been sent in from around the UK.

People were asked to pick their favourites and each nominee must receive at least three votes to go through to the national stage.

Sonia, 32, who lives in Grangetown, secured her nominations after dreaming up and designing the tenancy scheme, which is accredited through the Open College Network,

The 12-week course helps residents make the leap to independent living – by teaching basics skills including cooking and cleaning.

“It was a surprise, but it goes to prove how it is making a difference, especially with the lad we work with,” she said.

“Practically everyone has done the course has moved on to their own flats and two have gone onto university.”

Swan Lodge centre manager Christine Ritchie said: “Learning makes a difference to all of our residents and our tenancy achievement group has proven to be very effective and most of all fun for the learners.

“Our tutor is motivational and easy to talk to which is why she has so much respect within the centre.”

People have from now until September 26 to visit www.whatson4me.co.uk to vote for their favourite nominees.

The winners will be announced on October 10.

Twitter: @janethejourno