Adults praised for learning skills

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ADULT learners from the Carrick area had a fair share of the 337 awards made at a ceremony in Ayr’s County Hall.

The local authority provides community-based adult learning, working in partnership with South Ayrshire Lifelong Learning Partnership; Ayr College; NHS Ayrshire & Arran; Access to Employment; Skills to Employment; Paths for All; Jobcentre Plus; Skills Development Scotland; Stepping Stones for Families; Girvan Family Connections and Wills Road Family Centre.

And certificates were awarded for achievements from computing to cooking, managing money to handling stress and much more.

Everyone who received a certificate for brushing up on their literacy skills had studied for ate least 20 hours. Also acknowledged at the ceremony were volunteers who have been working on adult learning for over five years.

Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning Councillor Hywel Davies said: “I would like to congratulate all the adult learners. They are a credit to themselves and their community.

“Many people choose to return to learning as an adult, sometimes the drive is to learn a specific skill to assist them to find employment, to gain promotion at work or enable them to return to full time education. For others, adult learning is a way to learn new life skills, build confidence and become motivated.

“The one thing that they have in common is that it’s about making a difference.”

At the ceremony the Mellow Parenting Group in Maybole was named South Ayrshire Council Learning Group of the Year 2011. The award recognises the fantastic efforts it had made. Now its members are looking forward to a more positive future for themselves and their families.

It was the first year the programme had been available in the North Carrick town. A group of six mums signed up to help improve their parenting skills. The parents learned about different activities to help them enjoy time with their child, develop skills to help handle their children’s behaviour and above all to laugh with and enjoy them.

Group members had to attend two morning sessions a week for 14 weeks. All members have taken part in additional learning programmes such as computer courses, cookery programmes and confidence building programmes.

A Lifetime Achievement Award for Service to the Local Community was presented to Elma McLean, an active member of the Glendoune Community in Girvan for 40 years.

Elma moved to Girvan in the Sixties where she settled and ran a business. Since closing her business Elma has worked tirelessly for her community.

Mr Davies said: “Cong-ratulations to the Mellow Parenting Group in Maybole and to Elma McLean. These are all inspirational people who are reaping the benefits of adult learning and showing the difference it can make.

“I am sure that others will be inspired by those who received a certificate or a special award. Learning really is for life.”

Messages of support came in from Girvan people who have been inspired, supported and guided by Elma:

One said: “I met Elma at a time when I had no confidence and didn’t think that I was needed or wanted. She made me realise that I had something to offer and I am now really active in the Glendoune Community.

“The thing I like about Elma is she treats everyone the same. It doesn’t matter if you are a drug addict or an MP.”

Another read: “Elma is the most patient, tolerant, selfless person I have ever met and deserves recognition as such a positive role model in our community.”