OPEN COLLEGE NETWORK NI (OCN NI), an educational charity and awarding body that advances education by developing qualifications for adults and young people throughout NI, has revealed the winners of the prestigious 2021 Learning Endeavour Awards, during a star-studded virtual event.
Special guests such as local singing superstar, Brian Kennedy, TV legend Pamela Ballantine, BBC Radio 1 DJ, Phil Taggart and NI Women’s Senior Team player, Sarah McFadden, to name a few, joined the live event to wish finalists good luck.
Local comedy legend Shane Todd even made a hilarious appearance as the buffoonish but loveable, Mike ’24 Carat’ McGoldrick to calm nerves before radio presenters, Steve Turnbull and Jordan Humphries announced the winners.
This was a record-breaking year for entries, said Martin Flynn, CEO, OCN: “This was our biggest event since the Learning Endeavour Awards began, three years ago, and the caliber of entries just blew all of our judges away. Despite the challenges that Covid-19 has thrown at us, our leaners and teachers have stayed committed and their dedication has shone through as we proudly honour them all today.”
The Third Sector Learner of the Year went to Pierrette Koffi Mel from Start360 and taking home the Schools Learner of the Year award was Joseph McFlynn, St Patrick’s College, Maghera, the Provider of The Year category winner was North West Regional College and the Inspiring Tutor/Teacher of the Year top spot went to John Morgan of the Belfast Trust.
The Health & Well-being Learner of the Year went to Eoin Millar, EOTAS Loughs Road Learning Centre, County Armagh, Third Sector Learner of the Year went to Emad Hazaea, Belfast Met and Belfast Met also won the Advancing Learning Through Innovation category.
The final award, the Hilary Sloan Learning Endeavour Award, in memory of former OCN NI Chair who was a powerful advocate of life-long learning, was last to be announced, explained Martin Flynn.
Martin said: “The Hilary Sloan Learning Endeavour Award is given to one of our category winners. The winner of this award for 2021 is, Pierrette Koffi Mel, Start360, who will receive a £1,000 learning bursary. Massive congratulations to Pierrette and all of our shortlisted finalists and winners. Our sincerest thanks must go to Open University, PKF FPM, O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors, Co3 and Duffy Rafferty Communications for contributing to this learning bursary.
“All of our finalists will receive a Certificate of Nomination to help mark an achievement they should be very proud of. It was a stellar awards event and fingers crossed we get to see each other in person next year.”, concluded Martin.
For more information visit https://www.ocnni.org.uk/learner-awards-2021/.