25th May 2012
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Inspirational students from Bolton College’s community learning centres were acknowledged for their outstanding achievements, during an awards ceremony at the Deane Road campus. 


The event took place within the college’s atrium on Tuesday 22 May and celebrated the outstanding work and accomplishments of students across the four main community learning centres – Brownlow Fold, Deane & Derby, New Bury and Westhoughton.


Work carried out by the Neighbourhood Learning in Deprived Communities (NLDC) and family learning projects was also recognised on the evening. 


Guests of honour at the evening included the recently appointed Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton, Cllr Guy Harkin and his wife, Colette and Bolton Wanderers’ academy director, Jimmy Phillips.


Marie Gilluley, principal at Bolton College, said: “The students make such a big difference to their local communities – there really is a lot to celebrate.


“The awards evening was great chance to reflect on the incredible achievements of our students from the community learning centres. It’s fantastic to see that the hard work and dedication they put into their studies pays off and helps them to progress on to bigger and better things.”


Learners were awarded in a number of personal, community and educational categories including: social development and overcoming barriers, contributions to the community, outstanding effort and achievement in learning, progression to further education or employment and achievement in family learning. 


Some of the winning students include Dawn Midgley, who was shortlisted for her progression to further education. So far, full-time mum Dawn has completed courses to prepare her for university, to help realise her dream of becoming a midwife. 


Mandy Ridward was awarded in the personal development category. The former pub landlady has applied to become a foster carer, having recently completed courses in childcare. 


Mandy commented: “To be recognised and awarded for our achievements really means so much. I even changed the date of my honeymoon so we could make the ceremony – I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”


Serpil Alagdag was recognised for her contributions to the community. Serpil, a founding member of the Green House Refugee project – a social enterprise promoting healthy eating – has worked tirelessly, delivering community education programmes on diet and nutrition. 


Jimmy Phillips presented  a signed Bolton Wanderers pennant in recognition of one student’s efforts towards the Kids of Bolton project – a charity initiative aimed at helping children under the age of 18, creating opportunities that otherwise would not be available to them.


Guests were welcomed with a drinks reception and entertained by a mix of jazz music and Indian dancing. A fashion show arranged by students from the Deane & Derby learning centre also took place before the awards, showcasing costumes made from their community clothes making courses. 


The community learning centres offer a range of adult learning courses and routes to further professional training. Over 12,800 students, from the local surrounding areas, have enrolled at the centres in the past year alone.


For further information on Bolton College and its community learning centres, visit

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Faz P

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