Winning night for adult education

Portrait image of Melissa Lander

UCEN Manchester student Melissa Lander and her tutors Glenn Meads and Shelley Deasey take home top accolades in the very first Manchester Adult Education and Skills Awards.

Celebrations were in order for a UCEN Manchester student and her tutors who took home top accolades in the very first Manchester Adult Education and Skills Awards.

Hosted by the Manchester Adult Education and Skills Partnership, the awards celebrate the achievements of individuals whose lives have been changed by lifelong learning, as well as those who have enabled it to happen.

During a black tie digital ceremony, UCEN Manchester Access student, Melissa Lander, won the Return to Learning Award. Melissa won for overcoming the odds both personally and academically to secure her place on an English degree course at Manchester Metropolitan University.

She said: "Being nominated and shortlisted for this award was a complete honour in itself, so receiving this award was like a dream for me! I didn’t think it could get much better when I’d completed my course with distinctions, had my faith restored in education and teachers, and met the best friends of my life.

I owe everything to my course tutors and I’m so glad I never gave up.

In addition, her Access tutors Glenn Meads and Shelley Deasey were Highly Commended in the Tutor of the Year category, the only commendations of the night.

This latest success follows on from UCEN Manchester winning in the Student Support category of the Whatuni? Student Choice Awards earlier this week (June).

Glenn said: “Mel has been a wonderful student since the day she arrived. She has been hard working, diligent and supportive to other students. She also supported staff by talking about her experiences of anxiety at the Teaching and Learning Conference, so huge congratulations to Mel on everything that she has achieved. This award is well deserved.”

Michelle Tocher, Director of Access at UCEN Manchester, said:

Melissa has been an exemplary student during some unprecedented times and it’s been a complete delight to support her on her educational journey.

“I’m so pleased that the hard work and commitment to adult education that our colleagues deliver on a daily basis has been officially recognised by these prestigious awards.”

Michael Walsh, Dean of UCEN Manchester, said:

At UCEN Manchester, learning is a lifelong process so for one of our students to win the Returning to Learning Award is a fantastic achievement and a testament to the dedication of our colleagues who ‘believe in different’ for each and every one of our students.

Find out more about our range of Access to Higher Education courses.