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And the winner is …

HEART were delighted to sponsor the Raising Aspirations award at this years regional Adult Learners’ Week Awards held in Forsters Bistro in Bradford. Located adjacent to Bradford City Park the event received an unexpected boost to cheering from the newly promoted Bradford City Football team and their adoring fans as the celebratory open top bus tour arrived.

Inside Forsters the celebratory mood was mirrored by all the award winners from all corners of Yorkshire and Humberside. Four of the twelve winners have been learning through HEART partners and, we promise there was no fix, both the highly commended and the overall winner of the Raising Aspirations award, studied with Leeds City College and University of Bradford respectively.

Sarah Reynolds Speech


The winner, Sarah Reynolds, returned to learning following a period of ill health that resulted in leaving her job of twenty years. As she commenced her Foundation Degree in Leadership & Management she had to undergo surgery but somehow managed to fit the operation around her study and did not miss a single session of the degree. Sarah has really valued the foundation degree model with the access to work experience enabling her to acquire current practice and the solid support of the entire team at the University of Bradford. Sarah’s key tutor and nominator for the award, Margaret Alipoor, spoke warmly about Sarah’s persistence and her ongoing support to fellow learners on the course and to the tutor team too. In her acceptance speech Sarah extolled the value of learning and praised the support and approach of the University of Bradford team. Upon successful completion of the Foundation Degree Sarah intends to continue and top-up to a BA.


Lisa Horsley Certificate

Highly commended was Lisa Horsley. Lisa found school difficult and in her words ‘school didn’t get me’. She therefore made a life for herself, having four children and providing the support that they required to have a good start in life. As her youngest child started school she felt empty and as a result took the leap to return to learn completing a 12 week ‘steps’ course. Lisa then progressed to Leeds City College where she says on arriving to enrol ‘the staff were so accommodating it just felt right’.  Here Lisa completed an NVQ CACHE award and GCSE Maths and English and has subsequently secured a permanent position as a teaching assistant in a school. Her enthusiasm for learning will undoubtedly rub off on the children she supports.


All the winners on the evening showed great strength and determination to overcome a range of personal difficulties, whether they be related to family, disability or work. Their stories are inspirational and demonstrate that learning provides routes to health improvement, family and community support and of course employability.

If you want to know more about how to return to learning and where to get expert advice on the range of options available do get in touch. You can call us on 0113 343 2312 or click here for our contact form.