Winning a Festival of Learning award means we can continue our work

The Festival of Learning 2019 award nominations are now open.

Here at Elatt in East London, we are so pleased that we were shortlisted for the awards in 2018, and that our project Equal Voices won the President’s Award for exceptional achievement in adult learning.

Equal Voices supports migrant and refugee women to become community leaders and works with women with limited language skills and rights awareness to develop their skills and empower them to speak out for themselves and others in their communities.

Elatt teachers worked with Citizens UK (TELCO) to develop this programme, which project manager, Nafisah Graham-Brown, describes as “meaningful and exciting for us, and life-changing for our participants”. One of our learners Saira said, “This project really made realise all the things I can do, and I know how to help other people too.”

Equal Voices was selected by Learning and Work Institute’s president, Nick Stuart CB, who said that the project is an outstanding example of the role adult learning can play in empowering people to participate in society and bring about real change in their communities. This special award recognised our outstanding contribution to the education and training of adults.

Many Equal Voices learners have been inspired to become more active in their community by volunteering and those who felt unable to express their views to their partners and families have been empowered by newfound rights awareness and self-confidence. Participants have also gained ESOL and functional skills qualifications and progressed on to further study and gained employment.

We were so happy to win this award which recognised our learners’ achievements. Learning and Work Institute has also really helped promote Equal Voices and Elatt’s work since winning this award – this has included producing a film about Equal Voices and inviting one of our learners to be an ambassador at their English Maths and ESOL conference in November 2018.

Winning the President’s Award has enabled us to continue this new strand of work at Elatt. As a result of this our classes in Tower Hamlets have also worked on community cohesion projects with Citizens UK which resulted in them receiving an award from the Faith and Belief Forum. Many of our students have attended community campaigning events with both the Mayor of Hackney and the Mayor of London.

If you know of any projects or individuals who are making a big difference to other’s learning why not nominate them for a Festival of Learning award in 2019.

Equal Voices won the Festival of Learning 2018 President’s Award. Watch their film here.


Nominations for Festival of Learning 2019 are now open until 12 February. Further information and guidance can be found here.