Learners, teachers and organisations honoured at virtual event

OPEN COLLEGE NETWORK NI (OCN NI), an educational charity and awarding body that advances education by developing qualifications for adults and young people throughout NI, has revealed the winners of the prestigious 2021 Learning Endeavour Awards.

This was a record-breaking year for entries, said Martin Flynn, CEO, OCN: “This was our biggest event since the Learning Endeavour Awards began, three years ago, and the caliber of entries just blew all of our judges away.  Despite the challenges that Covid-19 has thrown at us, our leaners and teachers have stayed committed and their dedication has shone through as we proudly honour them all.”

The Third Sector Learner of the Year went to Pierrette Koffi Mel from Start360 and taking home the Schools Learner of the Yearaward was Joseph McFlynn, St Patrick’s College, Maghera, the Provider of The Year category winner was North West Regional College and the Inspiring Tutor/Teacher of the Year top spot went to John Morgan from the Belfast Recovery College.

The Health & Well-being Learner of the Year went to Eoin Millar, EOTAS Loughs Road Learning Centre, County Armagh, Third Sector Learner of the Year went to Emad Hazaea, Belfast Met and Start360 won the Advancing Learning Through Innovation category for their Switch onto Employment Programme. 

The final award, the Hilary Sloan Learning Endeavour Award, in memory of former OCN NI Chair who was a powerful advocate of life-long learning, was last to be announced, explained Martin Flynn.

Martin said: “The Hilary Sloan Learning Endeavour Award is given to one of our category winners.  The winner of this award for 2021 is, Pierrette Koffi Mel, Start360, who will receive a £1,000 learning bursary.  Massive congratulations to Pierrette and all of our shortlisted finalists and winners. Our sincerest thanks must go to Open University, PKF FPM, O’Reilly Stewart Solicitors, Co3 and Duffy Rafferty Communications for contributing to this learning bursary.

“All of our finalists will receive a Certificate of Nomination to help mark an achievement they should be very proud of.  It was a stellar awards event and fingers crossed we get to see each other in person next year.”, concluded Martin.

For more information visit https://www.ocnni.org.uk/learner-awards-2021/


For further information please contact Michael McCrory of Duffy Rafferty Communications on Belfast (028) 9073 0880.


The highly commended and winners of the Learning Endeavour Awards 2021 are as follows:

Further Education Learner of the Year

·       Winner – Emad Hazaea, Belfast Met

·       Highly Commended – Savanna Duffy, Northern Regional College

·       Highly Commended – Patrick Anthony Bradley, North West Regional College

·       Highly Commended – Jordan Robinson, People 1st

·       Highly Commended – Shane Green, Belfast Met


Third Sector Learner of the Year

·       Winner – Pierrette Koffi Mel, Start360

·       Highly Commended – Sharon Bann, AMH

·       Highly Commended – Aaron Savage, NOW Group

·       Highly Commended – Diane Huston, Supporting Communities

Schools Learner of the Year

·       Winner – Joseph McFlynn, St Patrick’s College, Maghera

·       Highly Commended – Shannon O’Rourke, St Patrick’s College, Maghera  

·       Highly Commended – Caolan McCrum, Lismore Comprehensive School   

·       Highly Commended – Adam Pearson, Craigavon Senior High School        

Health & Well-being Learner of the Year

·       Winner – Eoin Millar, EOTAS Loughs Road Learning Centre         

·       Highly Commended – Kathryn Tilson, AMH        

·       Highly Commended – Ben Quigley, Education Authority

·       Highly Commended – Beverley Farry, AMH        

Inspiring Tutor/Teacher of the Year

·       Winner – John Morgan, Belfast Trust

·       Highly Commended – Nikki Partridge, The Advantage Foundation           

·       Highly Commended – Martin Farrell, St Marks High School         

·       Highly Commended – Nicole McKee, Belfast Met

Provider of the Year

·       Winner – North West Regional College

·       Highly Commended – Orchardville         

·       Highly Commended – Oh Yeah Music Centre

·       Highly Commended – Belfast Metropolitan College


Advancing Education Through Innovation

  • Winner – Start360
  • Highly Commended – Fermanagh and Omagh District Council ASPIRE
  • Highly Commended – Sally Gardens
  • Highly Commended – South West College