We were proud to once again sponsor the Sussex Workplace Learning Awards as part of our programme of free activities for National Learning at Work Day 2013.

I was really pleased to see such a dramatic increase in the number of entries in what is only the second year of  these Awards.  My fellow judges, Laura Murphy and Debbie Silvester had a tough job on our hands whittling the nominations down to winners and runners-up in the two categories, but we got there in the end.

On 23 May, at Eastbourne Town Hall the winners were announced.  The Awards this year were presented by Mr Dave King, Head of News at Sussex Newspapers and the finalists celebrated with lunch kindly provided by Food for Comfort.

Individual Commitment to Learning Award

This year’s Individual Commitment to Learning Award winner was lock smith Mike Madelin.  Mike’s nomination showed how transferable learning is across the different area’s of our lives.  He’d found business skills helping him in his role as a school governor, and his business benefiting directly as a result of learning he’d undertaken in his personal life.  A business-man who’s commitment to learning is not just for his workplace!  The runner-up in this category was Linda Veness who works as a therapist at Natural Fitness Centre.  Linda is the embodiment of life-long learning, and the time she invests in her own professional development is repaid by clients who’ve made her one of the most popular therapists around.

Organisational Commitment to Learning Award

The Organisational Commitment to Learning Awards were a hard fought contest this year.  So much so, that we ended up with two, joint runners-up.  The Dental Barn, who as a new business have gone out of their way to demonstrate a commitment to staff development, and Wound Healing Centre who’s portfolio of workplace learning extends from in-house training courses to individual research and presenting at European Conferences.  But, there was only ever one winner in this category – Furniture Now!!  As a charity, Furniture Now!! are accustomed to delivering workplace learning on a budget, but it was the way they approach learning that most impressed us judges.  Their staff and volunteers are very diverse in their level of skills and education, as well as their learning styles, but Furniture Now!! have found a way to accommodate them all.  The learning they provide is always grounded in it’s practical uses and they even recognise the development value in-house training has for the person delivering the training!


Well done  to all our nominated finalists, runners-up and winners!