LAL celebrates star learners at inspirational awards night

Lancashire Adult Learning has celebrated its star learners at an inspirational awards night held at Preston Guild Hall.

The LAL Star Awards 2017 saw adult learners from across Lancashire gather in a relaxed atmosphere to receive their trophies and certificates among family, friends and LAL tutors and staff.

Guests enjoyed a canapé and fizz reception on arrival and keynote speakers on the night included LAL’s Associate Principal Tracey Baron and County Councillor Graham Gooch, Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Services.

Tracey Baron said: “The Star Awards was an amazing night and I had the chance to meet some truly inspirational adult learners. Listening to how their lives have been transformed through adult learning was very humbling.

“Lancashire Adult Learning is now the second largest adult learning provider in the country, and it was extremely interesting to hear our winners’ stories and see how courses have benefited their lives on a personal or professional level. I was delighted to be able to present them with their awards and congratulations once again to all of our winners.”

Award winners were nominated for a variety of reasons, including a passion for learning, encouraging others to learn, progression in learning, overcoming adversity to achieve and volunteering to teach others. LAL’s Directors for Curriculum Andrew Parkin and Leyanne Fitzmaurice read out uplifting learner journeys before the learners accepted their awards.

LAL’s Learner of the Year was named as mum of two, Rachel Duckett, from Accrington. She said: “I always used to say ‘I’m just mum’ and I can’t do anything like that, I can’t do any learning.

“But look at me now – I have my dream, full time job as a teaching assistant. I would say to anyone, if you want to do it you can do it – just believe in yourself. The support I have had from Lancashire Adult Learning has been amazing.”

Sumayyah Nalla, from Preston, was the Volunteering Star. She said: “I have been teaching English to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants and it is a great experience, I love it. It has been brilliant to see learners develop in themselves and see their confidence grow.

“It has given me the confidence to do a Level 3 Teaching and Training qualification and in the future I would like to go on to Teaching English as a Foreign Language at Level 4 and then hopefully CELTA at Level 5 which is a certificate to teach English to adults here or abroad. The world is my oyster!”

Tyrone Hawke, LAL’s English Star, from Burnley, added: “It’s the first award I have ever won and it means a lot to me. I’m very happy. I would recommend any of the courses with Lancashire Adult Learning.”

The full list of winners are:

Kim Pendleton, Skelmersdale (Family Learning Star)

Doreen Riley, Rossendale (ICT Star)

John Houghton, Parbold (Digital Star)

Beata Pawlowska, Preston (Health and Wellbeing Star)

Alex Massey, Upholland (Mentoring Star)

Helen Greenhalgh, Chorley (Humanities Star)

Louise Valentine, Fleetwood (Employability Star)

Sumayyah Nalla, Preston (Volunteering Star)

Qiu You Zhong, Lytham St Annes (ESOL Star)

Jackie Peterson, Ormskirk (Arts Star)

Georgina Bibby, Chorley (Maths Star)

Tyrone Hawke, Burnley (English Star)

Richmond House Group, Chorley (Community Stars – Group)

Eddie McVey, Morecambe (Languages Star)

Stuart Mann, Lancaster (Community Star – Individual)

Fleetwood Fundraising Group (Overcoming Adversity Stars)

Rachel Duckett, Accrington (Learner of the Year)

For more information about LAL, contact 0333 003 1717 or visit


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