Brandon, an adult learner, triumphantly holds up his year-end award in front of a red curtain.

Brandon is the adult Learner of the Year

19-year-old Brandon Garcia has been named Learner of the Year at the Wandsworth Lifelong Learning Awards 2019.

The awards recognise the borough’s highest achieving adult learners – rewarding them for their commitment and success over the past 12 months.

Brandon said: “Rather than stay on in education, the apprenticeship has really made me see the world of work in a different way and was definitely the right thing for me do.”

Since successfully completing his apprenticeship in Wandsworth Council’s customer service department, Brandon is combining work with further studies in ICT at college.

Brandon was nominated for the award by his tutor, Charlotte Ponton, who felt that his approach to work and studies was exemplary and that he was a role model inside and outside of work.

More than 150 local people were presented with certificates of achievement at a ceremony in Wandsworth’s Civic Suite in subjects including business administration, health and social care, teaching, information technology, numeracy, literacy and English for speakers of other languages. Entertainment was provided by the Wandsworth Community Choir.

Cllr Jonathan Cook, cabinet member for economic development, skills and employment, said: ‘It’s really important to celebrate the achievements of adult learners and its inspiring to see what this year’s winners have achieved and to recognise their hard work.

“It’s never too late to learn something new – whether it’s to become more employable or to help with your health and wellbeing. Each year the Lifelong Learning team helps thousands of people and I would encourage everyone to see what’s on offer – you never know where it may lead.”

Other learners of the year include:

  • Suzanne Creswell – Apprenticeships (Falconbrook School)
  • Paul Bentley – Deaf First
  • Ahmed Warsame – ESOL – Wandsworth Direct Delivery)
  • Valerie Nelson – Apprenticeships (Wandsworth KITE Team)

Tutors of the Year

  • Charlotte Ponton – Apprenticeship Tutor, Lifelong Learning
  • Billi Rayt – Functional Skills Tutor, Lifelong Learning
  • Sarah Willats – Deaf First
  • Samantha Ross – Apprenticeship Tutor, Lifelong Learning
  • Eddy Da Silva – ESOL Tutor, Wandsworth Direct Delivery

The council’s Lifelong Learning team run a wide range of courses for adult learners, including apprenticeships and courses to help people develop skills for work as well as the opportunity to learn for fun. See the Lifelong Learning Guide for details.

There are also experienced careers guidance counsellors offering individual support. If you feel you could benefit, call 07919 392 254 or email

For more information on Lifelong Learning visit

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