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Haverhill Town Council staff win a national award




An adult education programme led by two Haverhill Town Council youth skills workers has been crowned a national award winner.

Adult Signpost, Haverhill won the Social Impact Award at The WEA’s 2019 Educational Impact Awards at City Lit in London due to its inspiring work with adults who risk becoming marginalised and socially excluded due to mental health conditions.

The programme is led by youth skills manager Karen Chapple and her assistant Dan Cooke.

Haverhill Town Council's youth skills manager Karen Chapple and her assistant Dan Cooke have been named the national winner of the Social Impact Award, run by the Workers Educational Association (WEA) for the success of the Adult Signpost sessions they run each week. Picture by Mark Westley.
Haverhill Town Council's youth skills manager Karen Chapple and her assistant Dan Cooke have been named the national winner of the Social Impact Award, run by the Workers Educational Association (WEA) for the success of the Adult Signpost sessions they run each week. Picture by Mark Westley.

Karen said: “I'm proud of all the people that have been part of the project and all those that have benefited from it and happy for all those that have put in hard work and made it happen."

In partnership with the WEA and the town council, Adult Signpost supports adults at risk of developing mental health conditions to learn new skills and build friendships.

Through weekly sessions held at The Zone Adult Signpost has prevented a group of adults from becoming marginalised and socially excluded due to mental health conditions.

Jo Cain, deputy CEO of the WEA. Contributed picture
Jo Cain, deputy CEO of the WEA. Contributed picture

Students attending have benefited significantly from a range of health and wellbeing courses to encourage social inclusion and confidence building, assisting them to integrate into the wider community.

And this is not the only impact. Family, friends and the local community of the attendees have benefited from their new skills and lifestyle changes.

Students have now gained the confidence to progress and continue learning, they have created a space where they support each other beyond the classroom.

Karen and Dan have already successfully added a junior signpost to to their project offer list in direct response to the success of Adult Signpost.

In early 2020 they are further adding a “toddler and me signpost” which will see them working with lone/young parents and their children.

Jo Cain, Deputy CEO of the WEA, said: “The WEA Educational Impact Awards are a great way to recognise the impact of adult education.

“Adult Signpost Haverhill is a fantastic example of how adult education benefits individuals, their families and the communities they live in.”

The national awards celebrate students, tutors, volunteers, partners and staff – who have transformed their own lives and the lives of others through lifelong learning.

FE Week is the media partner of the awards and this year’s sponsors include Lloyds Banking Group, NOCN Group, Skills & Education Group, Arden University, Ruth Spellman, Olive Cordell and Learning and Work Institute.


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