Last night I attended the Learning Awards 2013 hosted by the Learning & Performance Institute at the Dorchester Hotel. I was one of the many judges for the awards, so I was delighted to be invited to see the awards being presented to the worthy winners.
And when it came to the final award, the Colin Corder Award for outstanding contribution to the learning industry, I was intrigued to hear who had won this year. The first indication was that it was a woman – but I was absolutely stunned to hear my own name mentioned and my own photo flash on the screen. In fact, as Don Taylor, the Chair of LPI, talked further, I went through pretty much every emotion possible!
Eventually I got to the stage, and received the award, which was sponsored by Cisco. This was particularly poignant for me, since my time working for Cisco in 2000-2001 helped to shape my own thinking about workplace learning. Cisco was – and undoubtedly still is – an incredible company to work for.
Here’s a photo that Lesley Price took of me that also includes Susanna Reid, the BBC Breakfast presenter, the host for the Awards evening.
As those who were at the event will know, I was totally overwhelmed by the whole experience, so I wasn’t even able to manage a few words of thanks. But I want to put that right now.
Firstly, I want to thank the Learning & Performance Institute – and all those who nominated me – for the incredible honour bestowed on me. I really can’t begin to tell you how much it means to me.
I also want to thank the very many people – too many to name here - who have inspired and encouraged me over the years – but particular thanks go to my very close colleagues and friends- Jay, Harold, Charles and Clark.
AND of course I want to thank ALL of you for reading my blog posts or connecting with me on Twitter or Facebook or wherever – and for all the support you have given me.
But now I would like to ask you something …
The LPI supports the UK charity Dreamflight, which takes seriously ill and disabled children on the holiday of a lifetime to Orlando, Florida. For these children, however, this is MUCH MUCH more than a holiday; it changes their lives. The children leave their families behind which this gives them an opportunity to discover independence, confidence, and a whole new outlook on life. Dreamflight children have in fact gone on to amazing achievements, and at the LPI Awards ceremony last night, a patron of the charity, the paralympic gold medallist, Liz Johnson, told us how Dreamflight had shaped her whole attitude to life. The room was spellbound by her moving and inspiring story.
So what I would like to ask YOU is … if you have in any way been inspired or helped by me over the years, that you might show your thanks by making a donation - however small to this very worthy charity. That way we can help to change even more lives.