Realise Future's wins The Community Engagement Award

PRESS RELEASE                          




Tuesday 30th June, 2015 - A team of staff from Ipswich-based social enterprise Realise Futures - who made a powerful video about adult learners overcoming educational barriers to succeed and be role models to their children - have won praise at the annual Suffolk Adult Learners Awards held recently.


Members of the Family Learning team from Realise Futures Learning and Development - a leading provider of adult educational courses in Suffolk - came up with the idea to film learners in class giving their feedback on what they have achieved through adult education.


The film charted their experiences and thoughts on adult learning which, after overcoming initial doubts, had been positive - and they were able to recommend it to others.


Realise Futures' team won a special award called The Community Engagement Award for their video which was filmed at schools in Ipswich and Lowestoft.

The video is on YouTube


The Suffolk Learners Awards - held at the University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich - is an annual event celebrating the achievements of those involved in adult learning in Suffolk.


People who took part in the Realise Futures video were Neil Daines, Chelsea Dighton (who was also runner-up in the Outstanding Family Learner category), Mirela Balanescu, Ranjitha Matthew, Sharron Scannell, Lisa Duff-Godfrey, Lisa Bloomfield and Vicki Mann.


Tutors and senior practitioners who were involved in the delivery and production of the video were Eileen Richards, Jill Harrison, Bernadette White and Christine Hayward, and Sam Richards, who filmed and produced the video.


Realise Futures director Sally Butcher said: "We would like to thank all the schools involved in the videos for allowing us to make this video and to all the learners who took part.


"I am very proud of the work the Family Learning team is doing. The video was about being able to show, in a very powerful way, the barriers that adult learners have to overcome to attend classes, and also the skills and confidence they obtained as a result. All the learners spoke about how much they have gained from the courses and, also, in terms of being good role models for their children."


Realise Futures Learning and Development manage a team of 20 sub-contractors throughout the county to deliver the courses - and Mrs Butcher said many of these sub-contractors were recognised for their excellence at the awards ceremony.


"Not only did the Family Learning team's video win a special award, we had a number of winners and runners-up who work as subcontractors for Realise Futures delivering our courses. The awards recognise the positive impact that adult learning has on people's lives and wellbeing."


Realise Futures Learning and Development delivers around 1,700 Ofsted graded 'Good' adult learning courses in Suffolk to 8,000 people aged 19+ every year.


They include courses for maths and English, computers and technology, skills for work, health and well-being and family learning and are run from seven learning centres based in Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket, Felixstowe, Ipswich and Lowestoft.


Family learning courses are run in a number of schools and children's centres across the county, and they are designed to give parents and carers the skills and confidence they need to re-connect with learning - giving parents and carers the support they need to help their children in areas such as numeracy, literacy and science.


A total of 13 awards were given out at the event held on June 18, and Realise Futures are connected with:


Inspirational Learner of the Year

Runner up: Fiona Allen (The Befriending Scheme - a subcontractor of Realise Futures Learning and Development.)


Tutor of the Year

Runner up:  Adrian Figg and Ria Towill(from Phoenix Rising, a subcontractor of Realise Futures Learning and Development.)


Learning project of the Year

Winner: My song, our song - VoicecLoud (a subcontractor of Realise Futures Learning and Development.)

Runners up - Art in Mind and the Citizenship Course, Phoenix Rising (both subcontractors of Realise Futures Learning and Development.)


Volunteer of the Year

Runner up: Jean Twitchett from One Voice 4 Travellers (a subcontractor of Realise Futures Learning and Development.)


Health and Wellbeing Award

Winner: Art In Mind (a subcontractor of Realise Futures Learning and Development.)


65+ Learner of the Year

Winner: Janine Naylor (nominated by Suzy Haynes)

Runner up: Della McLean (VoicecLoud - a subcontractor of Realise Futures Learning and Development.)


Outstanding Family Learners of the Year

Joint Winners: Shelby-Paige Woodvine (Family Learning) and the Abel-Smith family from a VoicecLoud project (a subcontractor of Realise Futures Learning and Development)

Runners Up: Russell Mayes (Family Learning), Chelsea Dighton (Family Learning).



Realise Futures is running its annual conference for its Learning and Development subcontractors on Friday, July 3 at the Murrayside Learning Centre in Ipswich.


For further information, please contact:

Realise Futures                                                        

Jane Sutton                                                               

Marketing and Communications Manager                   

01473 238606