Nelson and Colne College Group Earns Bronze Award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme

The College Group have been officially recognised as a bronze employer by the Armed Forces through the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).  

The ERS recognises the commitment and support of UK employers for defence personnel and their families. The College Group is proud to receive this honour, aligning with our values and demonstrating our commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community. 

The ERS scheme comprises bronze, silver, and gold awards for employers who support those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, as well as their families. The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same.  

The bronze award recognises employers who pledge to support the Armed Forces and who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant. Nelson and Colne College Group signed the covenant in a ceremony held at Accrington and Rossendale College last February, where we dedicated our commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community through education and training. 

“We are delighted to welcome Nelson and Colne College Group as a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant,” said Major SJ Tickle of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. “Their commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community through education and training will make a real difference to the lives of veterans in the local area and beyond.” 

As a bronze award holder, Nelson and Colne College Group is open to employing reservists, armed forces veterans (including the wounded, injured, and sick), cadet instructors, and military spouses/partners. The college group will receive an electronic certificate and logos which will proudly be displayed on our website, stationery, and other materials. 

Nelson and Colne College Group is proud to support the Armed Forces community and is committed to promoting an armed forces-friendly environment. The College Group looks forward to continuing to support the Armed Forces community and inspiring others to do the same. 


Tea-rific educator from Lancashire brews up a royal invite to Buckingham Palace!

A member of the Lancashire Adult Learning (LAL) teaching team found herself rubbing shoulders with royalty last week as she was invited to King Charles III’s first Buckingham Palace Garden Party since his coronation. 

Sarah Haworth, the Head of Curriculum for Health and Wellbeing, Horticulture, Family Learning, Art & Humanities at Lancashire Adult Learning received a nomination from Holex, the lead professional body for Adult Community Education and Learning to attend the party last Tuesday.  

Sarah, who took her mother along with her, enjoyed afternoon tea in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, on what turned out to be a lovely May afternoon. The event took place a mere three days after the King’s Coronation celebrations. Sarah and her mother had the honour of mingling with the Prince and Princess of Wales, as well as many other distinguished guests. 

When asked about the once-in-a-lifetime experience, Sarah said: “I felt extremely honoured to be nominated by Holex and receive an invite to attend the garden party.  

“This was an incredible opportunity, and it was wonderful to share it with my Mum who is 76 and a huge fan of the Royal Family. On the day there were 8,000 attendees who had each been invited in recognition of the positive impact they have made in their community, and it was wonderful to meet some of these people and share stories. Attending this event for me, served as a reminder of all the good that happens every day in so many ways and that the world is an incredible place full of kind and selfless people, which can sometimes be hard to focus on with the volume of negative press that can surround us daily.” 

Sarah’s invitation to the palace was in recognition of her outstanding contributions to adult community education in Lancashire, both through her work at LAL and within National forums. 

In March 2022, alongside her team of fantastic colleagues, Sarah played a key role in the College Group and LAL achieving an “Outstanding” grade with Ofsted, the UK government’s education watchdog. Since then, good practice has been shared to the wider Adult Community Learning sector through Holex to its members. LAL, as a member of the Nelson and Colne College Group, is the only Further Education College in Lancashire to hold the “Outstanding” title. 

Due to the efforts of hard working and committed educators such as Sarah, LAL is now also the number one provider of adult education in the whole of Lancashire, according to the governments most recent National Achievement Rate Tables (NART) – and second in the entire country!  

LAL’s success in engaging adults into education and training opportunities through its innovative curriculum has made a real difference in the lives of countless individuals across Lancashire, and Sarah’s contributions have been integral to this achievement. Her expertise and dedication have ensured that LAL continues to be a pioneer in the field, providing high-quality education that meets the needs of its students and the wider community. 

The recognition that Sarah has received is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and vision of herself and of likeminded individuals at LAL. With Sarah’s contributions, LAL will continue to be at the forefront of promoting health and wellbeing through education, setting an example for other providers to follow. 

“Sarah’s invitation is a testament to her excellent work at the national policy level, which has helped LAL lead the way and influence national policy.” said Andrew Parkin, the Assistant Principal for Adult Learning at the Nelson & Colne College Group. 

Furthermore, Tracey Baron; Deputy Principal for Curriculum and Quality at Nelson and Colne College Group said:

“Sarah consistently goes above and beyond to bring first steps learning and qualifications for adults across the county.  The huge impact that Sarah and her team have in contributing to the health and wellbeing agenda of Lancashire County Council and also providing professional development routes for adult returners is phenomenal!” 

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Changing lives through an updated curriculum

Raising Awareness around Breast Cancer in Pregnancy

Lancashire Adult Learning (LAL) came across Roisin Pelan’s social media campaign about her incredibly brave battle with breast cancer during her pregnancy.

Nicola Hall, Director – Curriculum Innovation & Partnerships was instantly compelled to reach out and discover how LAL could assist and support Roisin to reach even more people and consequently set out to update the curriculum of LAL’s health courses.

Nicola said “Breast Cancer affects 1 in 7 women, but with early detection it can be treated effectively. We are perfectly positioned at Lancashire Adult Learning to help raise awareness of the importance of self-examination. Roisin – breast cancer kicker and the founder of is from my hometown of Preston and we are delighted to be working alongside her on this campaign.”

Lancashire Adult Learning deliver a variety of Health Literacy courses. The ‘Screening for Prevention & Good Health’ course aims to increase learners’ knowledge about the importance of health screening, and the main screening programmes available. For learners where English is a second language, it provides the opportunity to enhance their language skills and with this enhanced knowledge and confidence, they are then better prepared to deal with health conditions and take responsibility for looking after themselves and their family.

Sarah Haworth, Head of Curriculum – Health and Wellbeing said “By embedding key messages about breast cancer within our curriculum We hope to not only raise further awareness, but help to normalise conversations about cancer so people are confident to carry out self-examination and follow up anything they feel unsure about with their GP. Early detection is vital and can result in effective treatment that can save lives.”

Roisin’s important campaign has also led her to work closely with East Lancashire Hospital Trust (ELHT). Roisin said “The close partnership between ELTH and LAL signifies a change in the way of early detection of breast cancer – through a combination of clinical and academic means. Its work will educate both midwives and new or expecting mums and open up the conversation about breast cancer in pregnancy.”

Read more about Roisin’s personal journey, read her wonderful Blogs and watch her amazing daughter Ivy share her own perspective here.

Photo: Roisin Pelan and Sarah Haworth at Haslam Park in Preston “Kicking Cancer’s Ass!”

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