12th July 2017

Learning Award Successes for Manor House Residents

Two residents at The Manor House Whickham have scooped first and second places in the Learning for Life category of Gateshead Council’s learningSkills Awards.

Betty Nicholson won the Learning for Life Award and Mary Potts was runner-up. They attend a popular watercolour class held at The Manor House every Thursday led by Gateshead Council tutor Bernard Quinn. The awards were presented at a ceremony at The Dryden Centre on 6 July by Councillor Jill Green.

Betty lives with dementia and finds focussing and retaining information very difficult, however she is a courageous learner and attends the watercolour class every week. She often voices struggles and frustrations at not being able to carry out some of the skills and techniques needed, but she never gives up and always strives to do better.

Mary is very passionate about everything she does and takes her time to excel in every area. Despite having Parkinson’s disease she strives to be the best she can be, pushing herself both mentally and physically. Outside of the class she embraces technology, using her iPad to teach herself new things.

Krysta Bruynson, lifestyle coordinator at The Manor House said: “Everyone is absolutely delighted for Betty and Mary, their award wins are very well deserved. The watercolour class regularly attracts around 10 residents each week who all enjoy the challenges and satisfaction it provides.”

Residents and staff from The Manor House attended the awards ceremony. Pictured left to right are (back row) Tracy Hood, Sheila Jackson, Anne Oxley, Krysta Bruynson, Peggy Williams, Bernard Quinn, (front row) Mary Potts, Dorothy Bower-Banks, Ann Morris, Betty Nicholson.

This is the 12th year of the learningSkills awards which celebrate the achievements of people aged 16+ who are involved in Gateshead Council’s vocational programmes, from apprenticeships to leisure and craft courses.  Over 250 people attended the awards ceremony including learners, training staff and employers to hear some heart-warming and inspirational stories. All of the learners have overcome challenges in their lives and despite the odds have achieved a great deal of success.

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