The OCN NI Learning Endeavour Awards took place online today.
If you missed the live streaming – you can catch up on the video link below.
Many congratulations to everyone who was nominated! Here are the results for the AMH team who were shortlisted!! We are so proud of you all!
Paula Ellison arrived at AMH suffering from depression which had knocked her confidence in her own abilities. Since coming to the charity however, Paula has excelled in a variety of NIOCN vocational and art-centred qualifications and her confidence is improving. Her self-belief has been fostered through creativity to such a great extent that she is exploring the possibility of creating her own business, focusing on glass and knitting. Paula is also now focused on contributing to society by mentoring other clients within New Horizons, demonstrating a wealth of strengths and qualities previously untapped and hidden by her previous lack of self-confidence. When she began her NIOCN courses, Paula was convinced she would not be able to complete them, but went on to surprise herself by showing talent and skill within Applying Practical Skills and Techniques in the Arts Level 1, and demonstrating an impressive strength of will, determination and kindness to others. Paula has also given back to her community through a variety of charitable fundraising activities.
Rachael is a young lady who suffers from depression and social anxiety. Unfortunately, Rachael became unwell at school and missed out in completing her last year in A Levels. However, since engaging with Action Mental Health and attending her classes at Larne Outreach, Rachael has grown significantly in confidence and is in the process of completing her 2nd half marathon. Rachael is a great example of a learner who has embraced what OCN has to offer in improving your health and wellbeing. This young lady is very intelligent but her mental health was a barrier in preventing her to reach her full potential. However, Rachael decided to take control of her physical health and from suffering social anxiety went onto running 5ks on her own. This took Rachael great strength but through the support from others in her class and the techniques she had learnt; Rachael was determined to overcome her anxiety. Rachael has now applied for an Undergraduate foundation course in Bio Science and is excited about her future.
AMH client Terrence Halligey has thrived during his NIOCN training at New Horizons North Down & Ards, completing various modules of the Award in Personal Success and Well-being. Not only did the courses help him overcome long-term anxiety and social isolation that prompted his departure from employment in 2008, it also enabled him to realise that his dyslexia needn’t be a barrier to communicating, progressing and recovering. Terrence engaged in tailored learning support based on the exploration of feelings and emotions and confidence-building, creating a scaffold of support around him and giving him a voice to express future goals. Previously silent, Terence is one of those individuals who has made the greatest transformation in their lives after experiencing a ten year period of mental ill health, social isolation, unemployment and low self-esteem. He now confidently shares his views, acts as a peer supporter and inspires other clients around him. The future is now bright for him, as he prepares for a return to employment.
Kevein joined the AMH New Horizons Foyle service in 2018 and completed OCN Level2 Digital Imaging and Printing golowed by OCN Level 2 Using A Camera and Accessories. Kevin made exceleent progress throughout both courses and his impressive photography and editing skills really stood out. He built up his confidence and competence in these areas!
As part of a project for the OCN NI Digital Imaging and Printin course, Kevin created and edited five photos representing the Five Ways to Well-being; Connect, Give, Take Notice, Be Active and Keep Learning. He produced an impressive collage of images for this project and is now implementing these Five Ways in his own life!
Kevin demonstrated an admirable flair for photography and digital imaging and he has since expressed an interest in possibly volunteering or gaining employment within this area in the future.
Rosie has come a long way since joining Action Mental Health, her physical and mental health was preventing her from reaching her full potential. Rosie has a rare disease called Takaysus which affect her mobility severely, only 2 people in Northern Ireland have it! Since coming to the Larne Outreach programme Rosie’s confidence and self-esteem has grown significantly. Her enthusiasm in class is evident along with her infectious smile. Even though Rosie is in continuous pain she still has the time to volunteer 2 full days per week in a local charity shop called Four Legged Friends. Her Manager and colleagues are very proud of her as she never complains about her health. Rosie’s mental health has also improved by coming to the class each week to complete her accredited training in OCN. Rosie is truly inspirational and when you meet this young lady, you will come away smiling.
Sean previously had a very negative experience of formal education and was neglected and bullied during his secondary school days. As a result he always felt inadequate and embarrassed when talking about his lack of qualifications. However, since joining our service, Sean has really embraced the opportunity to study at AMH and his attendance and application during the 12 week OCN NI course have been excellent.
The transformation in Sean has been amazing, he has gone from being a shy, isolated and anxious individual to someone who now has a hunger for learning and a genuine ambition to find full-time employment.
To overcome all of these barriers and complete his qualification is an amazing achievement and one that Sean should be very proud of.
Margaret’s journey started with AMH New Horizons Derriaghy in 2018. Despite personal challenges, her progress has increased enormously. Since completing the Stress Management course, Margaret found the motivation to succeed, giving her a sense of purpose. Margaret uses her learning experiences to grow in confidence, and notices an increase in her self-awareness, enabling her to enjoy her life. The newfound knowledge, skills and coping strategies she has learnt helps her immensely not only socially but personally, helping her to understand and manage her stressors; reducing her anxiety. Margaret is proud of her achievements and more importantly has hope for her future. Margaret is a very warm, friendly person and has the determination and dedication to take every opportunity to avail in further OCNNI training, which she states she would not have considered prior to attending our service. Margaret realises that there may be still challenging times ahead but that it doesn’t matter what life throws at you, you can learn new skills and overcome barriers!
Sharon has shown determination by keeping going, no matter what is thrown at her.
Sharon’s family members felt it was too late for her to become a nurse but Sharon wasn’t discouraged. Sharon has also shown her motivation by her committed attendance and by fully participating in class and has encouraged a similar group of women to continue learning.
This OCN NI course has allowed Sharon to set concrete goals for the future. This has involved careful planning, determinaton and confidence and getting out of her comfort zone. Sharon has now secured paid part-time employment with a local charity which lets her gain invaluable experience with special needs children and she is also progressing through an access course with South West Regional College with the view to studying for a degree in nursing.
Sharon is a truly inspirational person who has managed both physical and mental health challenges and who is determined to be the best that she can be.
Julia is an asset to the New Horizons Antrim Service and to anywhere her work has taken her, including the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and Text help. Much of the feedback received has been of the nature that Julia always takes on any opportunity with a massive amount of interest and enthusiasm in admin duties and responsibilities. Julia is always keen to discover more in any task and willing to learn.
Julia represents New Horizons beautifully as many other clients have commented on Julia’s ability to put anyone at ease and make everyone welcome. Julia is always there to offer a helping hand or a listening ear to anyone who needs it and is a constant encouragement and advocate for others.
Julia is most proud of exceeding her own expectations of herself by growing in confidence. She has been able to gain many qualifications that have opened many doors she believed for years would have been closed.
Alex was an absolute credit to the AMH service in Antrim. Alex immersed himself into many aspects of the service, gaining and excelling in many qualifications throughout his time with us.
Alex made a huge impact on many clients, inspiring many to follo in his footsteps. Alex would take on any course of challenge in New Horizons wiht a smile on his face and brilliant enthusiasm.
Alex came to New Horizons with many talents. One major talent was his ability to speak many different languages. Our challenge to assist Alex in finding a placement that would allow him to fully utilise these. Alex has a placement based within the Fitzwilliamm Hotel in Belfast, working in the beverage department where he showed consistent hard work and determination.
Alex through his fantastic work ethic, extreme talents, good manners and kind heart, was able to gain permanent part-time work with the Fitzwilliam Hotel in the Food Service team.
Pauline Matthew is the ingredient that makes the difference with clients recovering from mental ill health. Through the NIOCN programme, Pauline, a Creative Skills Coach at Action Mental Health’s service in Newtownards, helps them unlock their creative potential and build confidence while supporting their creative skills and employment opportunities. Pauline has designed an engaging and inspiring programme which promotes peer support and has resulted in clients showcasing their work at various exhibitions, boosting their confidence dramatically. Pauline works with clients on a one-to-one basis, encouraging them through courses of printmaking, animation, photography, floristry and glass fusing, using creativity to explore their journeys of recovery. Client feedback attests to Pauline’s kind, encouraging and caring approach, with some even motivated to develop their creative skills through further education and university. Pauline’s passion for creativity is infectious, and is often the key that unlocks clients’ potential, progression and recovery. Ultimate, the NIOCN training which she delivers, has empowered clients to find their voice and focus they previously felt they lacked.
Our Working It Out project which is based at out New Horizons services is part-funded by the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014-2020 and the Department for the Economy.