Local man hailed as ‘exceptional student’ at Education Oscars

Derry man Pat Nash receives his 'Lifelong Learner of the Year' award from Alex Jones of the BBC's One Show and Chris Jones, CEO of City & Guilds, at the glittering awards ceremony in London's Roundhouse last week. (2003JC7)
Derry man Pat Nash receives his 'Lifelong Learner of the Year' award from Alex Jones of the BBC's One Show and Chris Jones, CEO of City & Guilds, at the glittering awards ceremony in London's Roundhouse last week. (2003JC7)
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Derry writer Pat Nash has just been hailed as one of UK’s most exceptional vocational learners at the City & Guilds’ prestigious Lion Awards ceremony in London.

Learners, teachers and experts from the education industry came together to honour the outstanding achievements of others last week. 55 year-old Pat was named ‘Lifelong Learner of the Year’, making him one of just fourteen lucky recipients to win a Lion Award.

Now in its tenth year, the glamorous awards ceremony was held at London’s iconic Roundhouse. It celebrates the country’s most inspiring achievers who have accomplished extraordinary results through practical learning.

The ceremony is the culmination of the coveted Medals for Excellence regional awards programme, which has run every year since 1879. This year saw an impressive 109 learners and tutors winning a medal.

After working as a production manager in Derry’s Seagate for fifteen years, Patrick took voluntary redundancy and decided to pursue his dreams of becoming a scriptwriter.

Since taking this change in career direction, he has been committed to developing his talents so that he can succeed and excel in his field. He won the award for his work toward his Level 3 Diploma in Media Techniques, taken at Nerve Centre.

As part of this, he wanted to enhance his skills and knowledge of film making and directing. Although returning to education was a challenge for him, it didn’t take long for him to stand out – his portfolio of work over the last nine months has been hailed as ‘fantastic’ by his tutors.

And his hard work is undoubtedly paying off - Patrick has recently secured a literary agent for his screen writing efforts, agreeing a deal for a book titled ‘Short Films: Writing the Screenplay’.

Speaking about his win, Pat said: “Winning a Lion Award is totally unexpected, but feels brilliant and really rewarding for all the work I put in during the course. It’s a real confidence boost to my career aspirations and a welcome recognition of my abilities and talents. The course really gave me a chance to show what I can do, and the award is the icing on the cake.”

Patrick was presented with his award by star of The One Show and Strictly Come Dancing, Alex Jones.

Speaking at the event, she said: “I’m delighted to be presenting the City & Guilds Lion Awards 2012. It’s so important that we recognise the exceptional talents of these skilled individuals so that they can act as an inspiration to others.”

Meanwhile, Chris Jones, CEO and Director General of City & Guilds said: “City & Guilds’ purpose is to enable people and organisations to develop their skills for personal and economic growth. It is so important that we celebrate the outstanding achievements of our learners and tutors so that they can go on to inspire others. Winning a Lion Award is an impressive accolade, and Patrick should be very proud of his achievements.”

For more information, see: www.cityandguilds.com