Last night I presented the prizes to the adult learner students in the magnificent new building of Highbury College, in the city centre of Portsmouth for their entries in an annual writing competition. I was delighted to be asked to perform this task for the second time, having done so last year. The students are a mixture of those who are returning to college to improve their literacy and numeracy skills and those who are learning to read and write English as a second or other language. The students come from all walks of life and backgrounds including those who have learning difficulties. Subjects cover reading, writing and numeracy and courses range from basic reading, writing and numeracy skills, right up to GCSE level.
They were a great group of people and it always inspires me when I see so many adults so keen to improve their skills. For some it has been a major step to admit they need help and I admire their courage. The staff at Highbury do an excellent job in helping the students and were very proud of their students competition entries, and rightly so. I read all the entries and was struck by how many wrote about love: the love for a sister, father, mother, husband. It was heart-warming especially in a time when all we seem to read about and hear in the media is violence and hatred. Well done to all the students. These are our readers of the future.