TWO Colchester women have won awards at the ACL Essex awards.

ACL Essex is an adult community learning provider and it held its annual achievement awards at the Central Baptist Church in Chelmsford.

More than 20 awards were handed out to the most impressive students, staff, and employers across the county in categories ranging from maths and English to hair and beauty.

Colchester’s Katie Naum won the learner award for access to higher education (HE), digital and science.

She has just started a degree at the University of East Anglia after completing an access to HE diploma with ACL Essex.

Katie said: “I feel overwhelmed and blessed that I was nominated for the award. Thank you to my tutor Clare for nominating me.”

Judith Pearce, also from Colchester, won the award for highly commended creative and cultural learner of the year.

Judith is using the skills learnt in her Makaton classes to develop her charity – Mindfulness Miniature Donkeys.

The charity aims to work with people of all ages in hospice care and/or with learning disabilities who may use Makaton to communicate.

Judith said: “I’m in shock, I feel like I have imposter syndrome, I don’t feel like I should be here.

“There are so many worthy people who should be receiving awards and I’m incredibly grateful. I was just gobsmacked, it’s nice to be appreciated and recognised.”

Essex County Council’s councillor responsible for education, Tony Ball said: “The ACL Essex Learner Awards is an amazing and heart-warming event.

“It’s wonderful to see the commitment learners from across the county have made to lifelong learning, students that embark on an ACL course benefit from new skills and career development.”