MP applauds adult learners' work

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb applauded the commitment and determination of adult learners from villages and towns all over North Norfolk when he presented awards at a special ceremony at Sheringham's Little Theatre on Friday.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb applauded the commitment and determination of adult learners from villages and towns all over North Norfolk when he presented awards at a special ceremony at Sheringham's Little Theatre on Friday. The award recipients have all undertaken courses run by Cromer-based Learning for Everyone (L4E), achieving over 200 nationally-recognised qualifications between them while studying on popular programmes Empower U and Biz 3.

Empower U provides Skills for Life courses in English and Maths, while the Biz 3 project offers skills in business administration. Taught at Merchants' Place in Cromer and the Happing Shop in Stalham,. the business courses are the only ones of their kind available in the area and have enabled nearly 150 people to boost their skills and career prospects by studying close to home and at times convenient to them.

Dee Bailey, who works at Purslows Building Surveyors in Cromer, received five Distinctions in her courses, which included Word Processing and Document Presentation. "The training and help I received from my tutor Glenis Leach has been invaluable", she said. "It has given me far more knowledge and confidence in my job and this, in turn, has been a benefit to them." Her manager, Simon Purslow, agrees. "It's really so helpful that these courses are available locally", he said.

John Morgan, Project Manager for L4E, said, "Learning improves not only skills for employment but also gives a sense of confidence, self-esteem and well-being. It transforms people's lives for the better". Denise Treissman, Learning and Guidance Manager for L4E said that many of those receiving awards had overcome significant personal hurdles to study. Empower U student David Little, for example, is severely dyslexic and had struggled with literacy before coming on the programme. " I believe the course I am attending at Merchants' Place is essential because there is so little help available for dyslexic people", he said. " The programme is priceless to me - it is helping me to gain confidence as I improve my literacy skills".

Empower U Maths Tutor Steve Gaskin, whose company Right Angle Events had sponsored the event, said, " I feel very privileged to teach at Merchants' Place - it has taught me a great deal. We have great students and my company is proud to have sponsored this event."

Praise for the projects also came from Robin Smith, Economic Development Manager at North Norfolk District Council, who said, "This awards evening is such a celebration. It's about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. It's really important that these courses are available locally for people".

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In his introductory speech, Norman Lamb pledged to support L4E's attempts to gain funding to secure the longer term future of the courses, which are currently in doubt. He spoke personally to each of the learners as he presented them with their certificates along with specially-engraved glasses depicting the L4E logo - a person jumping over a hurdle. Presentations were also made to the tutors and the Merchants' Place team in recognition of their hard work and dedication.

Sue Arnold, Chairman of North Norfolk District Council, who also contributed, said it was good that the Council supported this valuable project, improving the skills of local people. "And it is a real honour to meet these learners and to hear about their wonderful achievements", she said.

Picture caption: Dyslexic Learner David Little, third from left, with fellow EmpowerU student David Goss after receiving their nationally-accredited certificates and awards from Norman Lamb, MP, left and Chairman of North Norfolk District Council Sue Arnold, right.

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