South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.
Higher, Professional, Technical.
Outstanding by standing out



SGS College’s Refresh 2 Impress programme wins Festival of Learning National Project Award

Refresh 2 Impress, a bespoke 3-day course designed by South Gloucestershire and Stroud College tailored for learners over 50 years of age, has been announced as this year’s winner of the Festival of Learning National Project Award for its exceptional achievement in adult learning. The Project Award recognises the innovative projects and provision that have supported adults to learn in a range of settings.

The course, based around a basic maths qualification, offers a safe, caring, fun and interactive learning environment. A variety of practical taster sessions, such as yoga, robotics, first aid and mindfulness are combined with the maths learning to broaden the learners’ experiences and motivate them to further learning.

Almost all learners pass the maths qualification and 50% return to attend higher level courses. Many find attending the courses counteracts feelings of loneliness and makes them feel valued members of society.
More than 300 adults have benefited from the opportunities this learning presents and one learner has advanced onto an art degree. This year, Refresh 2 Impress has expanded its programme to include an English qualification and courses such as cookery, DIY, and cyber security.

Learner Alfreda says: “I would tell anyone, go and learn something, it’s brilliant. I kept discovering things, I’m 86 and I’m like a new kid! I loved it, absolutely loved it!”

Sarah Kopera, Head of Adult Community Learning at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College said, “The college has seen an increase in part-time adult learners as a result of the course, and being named National Project of the Year is a testament to the hard work the team put in to Refresh 2 Impress, and also to the enthusiasm and excitement our wonderful participants bring to the programme. We have a number of people within the community who regularly attend the course, and I know they’ll be thrilled when they hear the news.”

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at Learning and Work Institute, said: “Refresh 2 Impress is an excellent project with lots to offer older people and an impressive number of learners achieve and come back for more. There is encouraging evidence that learning helps older people stay healthier and happier for longer. You are never too old to meet new people or discover new interests.

If you’d like to find out more about Refresh 2 Impress, and what it offers, or to sign up for the next course in October, click here.