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Unionlearn Quality Award for Sussex Downs College


Sussex Downs College has been awarded the TUC Unionlearn quality award for its Skills for Life programme that is delivered at the Hollingdean depot of City Clean in Brighton.

City Clean and City Parks deliver Brighton and Hove City Council’s refuse, recycling, streets and parks service. The depot in Hollingdean provides a thriving learning centre for staff, offering them the chance to develop their learning skills which will benefit them both in and outside work.

Sussex Downs College has been helping support the learners by offering literacy classes as part of the Skills for Life programme. The college was nominated by the GMB for the quality award which recognises high quality, flexible provision.

Melanie Morgan, literacy tutor and Deborah McNamara, literacy tutor and curriculum leader attended the TUC conference in London recently to collect the award where Melanie also delivered a very popular creative writing workshop to delegates.

Deborah said: “We are delighted to receive this award. Last year we helped 16 learners to achieve a qualification. For many of them, this was their first qualification. Learners also reported that the courses helped them to improve their lives. It is a pleasure to work with the union and with City Clean and City Parks, all of whom are dedicated to enabling employees to access education. As word spreads, our classes are becoming more and more popular. This year, 30 learners will be working towards a qualification in literacy with us at Hollingdean. We have also been able to offer a creative writing class.”

Rick, who is a streets scarab driver said: “Doing the literacy course and passing both my level 1 and level 2 this year has helped me start believing in myself and has given me far more confidence. Taking the class has helped me at home as well as at work, and I have also learnt that I didn’t fail at school, in fact school failed me. Next year I am going on to study at a higher level plus I have also become a union learning rep.”

Nick, now a supervisor in the workshops at City Parks, said: “Doing the literacy course provided me with more confidence and made me aware of my abilities and skills. Learning has improved my home life and helped me with my career prospects. I have recently got promotion and I am in no doubt that the training has really helped me in my new role.”

Sussex Downs College Skills for Life team offers a full range of courses in English, Maths and ESOL across its three campuses. For further information log onto www.sussexdowns.ac.uk


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