Digital CLD Awards 2022

We are delighted to be one of the first CLD organisations in Scotland to be recognised under a new digital award scheme for community learning and development organisations. Congratulations to the other six organisations across youth work, adult learning, and community development programmes in Scotland have been taking part in the pilot of the Digital CLD Awards.   
The Digital CLD Awards seeks to recognise the ways that CLD services and organisations promote effective use of digital technologies to enhance learning and engagement opportunities in youth work, adult learning, and community development programmes. It is delivered through a collaboration between education bodies and industry partners.  
The pilot  was funded by Scottish Government’s Community Learning and Development policy team and is focused on strengthening organisations’ skills across key areas, helping them to build their own, and their learners’, digital skills, digital literacies and strong digital wellbeing. 

To achieve Digital CLD Award status, Glasgow ESOL Forum had to demonstrate its clear vision and strong leadership in transforming its engagement and learning opportunities through effective use of digital technologies.  Evidence of digital approaches that raise the quality of learning, improve community involvement, and promote better inclusion were also assessed.   

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training said: “I offer my congratulations to all organisations who have achieved the Digital CLD Award. This is an important digital achievement for them and will make a real difference in helping to build the digitally literate, inclusive, and talented young people, adults and communities of the future.”  

Gerry Fox, Digital ESOL Coordinator at Glasgow ESOL Forum said ‘It has been a challenging 18 months for our staff team, volunteer and sessional tutors, but especially our learners. We had to adapt very quickly at the start of the first lockdown to move from community based ESOL classes to fully online. As an organisation, we had to overcome many barriers, including language barriers, to digital inclusion to keep a high-quality offer for our learners and to support them as best we could. The Digital CLD Award recognises our growing digital culture where digital practices by our staff and engagements with learners are building digital confidence and skills to that will help us all flourish in the future.  The whole process has enabled us to see where and how far we have come, and where we can continue to build on our progress in using digital technologies to support our learners to allow them to flourish.’  

Alan Armstrong from Digital CLD Awards Scotland said: “I am delighted that Glasgow ESOL Forum has enjoyed and benefited from its involvement in piloting the Digital CLD Awards.  Digital technologies are playing an increasingly significant role in all our lives and work.  This Award recognises and highlights the digital improvements that Glasgow ESOL forum is making to the ways staff, learners and stakeholders can engage, learn and develop further, together.  Congratulations to all involved.'

Glasgow ESOL Forum’s involvement in the pilot programme has helped Digital CLD Awards Scotland to co-create an Award framework that will encourage and celebrate greater digital inclusion in CLD organisations of all sizes, benefit learners and promote social justice.

Digital CLD Award 2022

Kiltwalk 2022

Our team of learners, volunteer, staff and friends braved the Scottish sunshine and walked The Kiltwalk from Clydebank to the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond (the smaller legs did the 'Wee Wander' around Balloch). 
We raised £2718.32. Thank you to everyone who supported us.
Why not join us next year?  Sunshine* and fantastic company guaranteed! 


* can't promise!

A Tribute to Carol Irvine

It is with great sadness that we write to tell you that our colleague Carol Irvine passed away peacefully on 1st February. Carol was a very active member of Glasgow ESOL Forum’s Board from 2004 – 2011 and was a strong supporter of our Volunteer Tutor Project. She delivered numerous training courses for our volunteer tutors and organised workshops which benefitted our whole organisation. Carol had worked at the University of Glasgow since 1995 having previously worked at Strathclyde and overseas in Chile, Poland, Kazakhstan, Egypt and Siberia. Carol’s career and interests ranged from ESAP to ESOL and beyond. She also remained very involved with the wider field of English language teaching through CELTA and introduction to TESOL courses and also the wider community, reflecting her roots in ESOL and true commitment to widening participation. She was involved in SATEFL and NATECLA, always keen to encourage new teachers and international TESOL students to participate and join events. More recently she was instrumental in organising access to pre-sessional places for refugees at Glasgow University and in advocating for widening participation to the University.

Some of you may know that after a life-changing accident and long period of rehabilitation 3 years ago, Carol’s resilience and determination ensured she was welcomed back to her work at Glasgow University early last year. Her story was quite inspirational and is captured in this interview she did with the UK-wide Charity Back up. Carol will be fondly remembered for advocacy and support of others, her strength of character in the face of adversity and will be sadly missed.

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