Charity scoops top honours

The Sussex Workplace Learning Awards 2013. Ceremony at Eastbourne Town Hall May23rd 2013 E21131P'Individual Commitment to Learning Award. Winner: Michael Madelin with Dave King Head of News Sussex Newspapers and co-organiser Laura Murphy.
The Sussex Workplace Learning Awards 2013. Ceremony at Eastbourne Town Hall May23rd 2013 E21131P'Individual Commitment to Learning Award. Winner: Michael Madelin with Dave King Head of News Sussex Newspapers and co-organiser Laura Murphy.

The charity Furniture Now! picked up the top honour at the Sussex Learning Awards which were staged in Eastbourne last week.

The low cost furniture charity, which has bases in Eastbourne and Hailsham, won the award for organisational commitment to learning.

It was one of a number of awards present as part of a week-long series of activities to highlight the merits of training in the workplace as part of National Adult Learners’ Week.

According to the judges, they praised Furniture Now! for their “structured, inclusive approach to learning”. The judges pinpointed how the charity’s continued growth was entirely dependent upon developing the skills of staff and volunteers.

Runners up for the Organisational Award were Wound Healing Centres UK Ltd and The Dental Barn, both from Eastbourne, who each had very clear thoughts on why learning was important to them as an organisation.

The awards were staged at the Town Hall where Mike Madelin from ARM Locksmith in Hailsham collected the individual commitment to learning award.

Judges praised Mr Madeline for recognising that “the workplace learning involves not only the acquisition of knowledge and a broadening of expertise, but develops self-confidence and improves your own self-worth”.

Runner up for the Individual Award was Linda Veness from the Eastbourne-based Natural Fitness Centre who proved that learning could continue at any age.

Sussex Learning Awards co-founder, Nicky McCrudden, said she was delighted with how the week of activities went and the stature of the awards.

She said, “The awards are going from strength to strength and we had a difficult choice to make with a strong list of contenders for the awards.

“There was also a wider range of free network and learn activities during the week than previously.”

Throughout the week, participants sampled different aspects of learning in the workplace.

This ranged from the role that human resources plays, introducing assorted training approaches as well as different coaching styles.

Events also included the hugely entertaining and thought-provoking Think a Link session in Eastbourne and an in-depth on the couch interview with the highly successful Penina Shepherd in front of a packed audience at Newhaven.

Laura Murphy, co-founder added, “One individual said they’d come along to the events just to network but had gone away inspired, which says it all.”

Fellow co-founder Debbie Silvester said, “Everyone who attended gained benefit from the sessions and will be taking some of this back into their own workplaces.

“We’ll certainly be running this again in the national Learning at Work week May 2014, so that businesses and organisations can build upon the good work they’ve done this year.”