Ready for Retail student recognised for award at Celebration of Learning

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A New College Lanarkshire student has been recognised for his commitment to learning after being nominated in the Developing the Young Workforce category at North Lanarkshire’s Community Learning & Development Partnership Celebration of Learning.

The Celebration of Learning, held at New College Lanarkshire’s Coatbridge Campus, recognises the successes of people across Lanarkshire who have excelled in learning in development.

Attended by representatives of the partnership including New College Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire Council, NHS Lanarkshire and Skills Development Scotland, the partnership aims to improve life chances in the local area through encouraging learning, personal development and active citizenship.

Dean Anderson, a student on the Ready for Retail programme within the Faculty of Supported Learning, was nominated for the award by lecturer Audrey Mackrell, to recognise his excellent progress, enhanced confidence and passion for learning and development.

The Ready for Retail programme is aimed at learners with additional support needs to support them in development of independence and employability skills through entrepreneurial activity.

Last year Dean entered the College’s ‘Market Day’ initiative to pitch his group’s business idea for running a stationery stall on campus. He presented in front of a panel of judges and an audience of over 50 people, resulting in the group taking second place at the What’s the Big Idea?! Competition – winning £250 to invest in their business.

Now in his fourth year at college, Dean’s consistent progress has meant he has now taken a leadership role as Store Manager of ‘The Wee Shop’, a market stall ran by students.

Audrey said: “Dean is a very innovative person who motivates other learners. He always shares ideas and was voted for by his peers to be Store Manager after impressing them with his knowledge of visiting wholesalers and checking off invoices at the pub. He delivers excellent customer service and enjoys helping people and making them feel good about themselves.”

Since joining the course, Dean has gained further work experience in a local pub while not at college. This has increased his confidence in himself as well as interpersonal and employment skills.

Audrey said: “Working in the pub has given Dean the chance to put his skills into practice, having a significant impact on his self-belief. He has also shown progress by developing his self-awareness including knowing when to ask for help and he is able to recognise his own transferrable skills, which he often refers to during team meetings helping the other learners to benefit from his experience.

“Within the college community Dean works hard to make a positive difference, including taking the lead in running a social enterprise to promote positive mental health within the college. This involved leading his team to host a guided meditation session where 36 participants attended and 28 said they loved it and would practice meditation again. Dean is now leading the group to expand their ideas in this area.

“Overall, Dean has improved his own life by developing his independence and continues to work hard to benefit the lives of others. He has undertaken many challenges and has demonstrated that he has learned numerous new skills that benefit himself and the communities he is involved in.

“We are all delighted that his hard work has been recognised for an award.”

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