Photo: Kennedy Cheng (L), Nicola Bradford from AgeUK Suffolk, Mr Stephen Smith (R).
“When you put your mind to it, anything is possible!” said Wayne Bavin, BBC Radio Suffolk presenter and Suffolk Adult Learners' Awards 2018 event host.
In this year's awards, we are very excited to announce that both our founder Kennedy Cheng and our customer Stephen Smith were award winners!
In the awards ceremony, we heard many amazing stories of how people overcame great difficulties - physical, mental, family and health - and achieved a learning milestone that seemed impossible at the beginning of their journeys. They all have one thing in common: they all set their mind to a goal and didn’t give up. They were determined, focused and they persevered.
This mindset is also one of the driving forces behind the success of many of our customers/students. Many started with little or zero digital skills. Some had a little misunderstanding or bad experiences with technology. Many were afraid or scared it. However, what is so amazing is that most of our customers/students managed to overcome these barriers and learn essential digital skills that have made a big positive difference to their lives. Certainly curiousity, family encouragements and a good teacher also help.
The Suffolk Adult Learners' Awards celebrates the hard work and outstanding achievements of adult learners, teachers and volunteers over the past year. The Awards is organised by the University of Suffolk, the Suffolk Adult Learning Federation (SALF) and Suffolk County Council. The recent event was held on Thursday 13 September 2018 at University of Suffolk waterfront building.
Our founder Kennedy Cheng has won the Volunteer of the Year award for his service in bringing digital skills to people in the local community. Kennedy felt very honoured to have received the award. One of his students, an elderly gentleman, Mr Stephen Smith has won the Inspirational Learner of the Year award for his determination to overcome his fear of technology and learn digital skills which has enriched his life. It proves that age is not an excuse. Certainly Kennedy was very proud of what Stephen has achieved.
Photo: Kennedy's award acceptance speech, Suffolk Adult Learners' Awards 2018 - Volunteer of the Year. Image source: University of Suffolk.
In his award acceptance speech, our founder thanked the panel of judges and the award sponsor Suffolk New College for giving him the award. And he thanked his friends, family and colleagues for all their help and support. He specially thank our friends and colleagues at Suffolk AgeUK for all their help and support, without which, the free computer help service won't be a success we see today.
He also took the opportunity to thank his students for being great students and he said that he was very proud of them.
Kennedy reminded the audience why driving digital inclusion is important: “Around 1 in 5, 11 million people in the UK are digitally excluded. It means they don’t have the ability or the means to use the Internet that many of us take for granted. Every little effort in improving their digital skills makes a big positive difference to them and their lives.”
He finished his speech with an inspirational call-for-action: “I hope this event will inspire more people who have been thinking about learning a new skill, but are a bit shy, to reach out and start learning. As Wayne Bavin said when you put your mind to it, anything is possible!”
More information about the awards can be found on the University of Suffolk website:
Photo: Winners and runners up at the Suffolk Adult Learners' Award 2018. Image source: University of Suffolk
Monthly digital skills workshops for absolute beginners and intermediates every first Thursday of the month 14:00-15:30 at the Ipswich County Library.
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