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Posted on 4 May 2021

Derek Fredericks recognised at Educate North Awards

Derek Fredricks has taken home the Teaching Excellence Award at this years’ Educate North Awards! Derek scooped the award as recognition for his fantastic work with learners dependent on drugs or alcohol. The win comes as over 80% of learners attending courses in 2018/19 reported progressing into employment, volunteering and/or further learning.

Funded by Stockport Continuing Education, Derek provides courses that help learners progress to other training, volunteering or employment. Courses cover topics such as peer mentoring, emotional intelligence and counselling. The courses are made possible thanks to funding from Greater Manchester Combined Authorities’ Adult Skills Budget.

Over the past three years, over 230 learners have accessed Acorn Academy courses. Individuals come from a wide range of backgrounds with addiction as the common factor. Derek uses his direct experience of addiction to inform his approach and the content of the courses he delivers. This lived experience allows Derek to break down barriers with learners and deliver courses that are challenging but never judgmental.

Describing Derek’s courses and support, learners characterize him as “inspirational and charismatic” and talk about his “compassion and no-nonsense approach”.

“Derek’s style is very much reflective and challenges perceptions in a way that allows them to gain insight into the issues of addiction. Always interesting and thought-provoking but never patronizing or dismissive, Derek is a mentor and friend to many”.
Sean Burke, Service Manager at Stockport Continuing Education Service.

A 2018/19 survey found that 81% of students achieved positive progression, meaning they went on to employment, volunteering or further learning. Furthermore, a Stockport Continuing Education Service survey reported that 90% of course participants saw improved health and wellbeing and improvements in their ability to socialise, work, communicate and actively participate in society.

Judges at the Educate North Awards said: “Derek has made an outstanding contribution in a very challenging area. This entry is very positive, highlighting the good work of the Acorn Centre and Derek in particular demonstrating initiatives taking place which have produced worthwhile results.”

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