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Build’s Stephen Bush wins Patron’s Award at Festival of Learning

Story added 21st Sep 2017

Stephen Bush, Patron's Award winner

Build student Stephen Bush has been announced as the Festival of Learning Patron’s Award winner for his exceptional achievement in adult learning. This award was presented to Stephen by HRH, the Princess Royal, as the Learning and Work Institute's Patron, and celebrates individuals who have transformed their own lives through learning.

Stephen took early retirement from his career in social services to become a carer for his mother who had Alzheimer’s disease. Stephen regularly attends classes here, across many classes that interest him. He says they have helped him maintain an independent identity while being a full-time carer.  Stephen has had a long association with Build for over 30 years, studying courses in subjects including literature, philosophy and creative writing. For his commitment to adult learning, Stephen was also recognised at this year’s Build Awards with the Principal’s Award.

Stephen believes that learning new skills, particularly in a social and creative environment, can help improve the quality of his life. He is also a committee member at the Claremont Project which provides learning activities for people aged 55 years and over. He passionately advocates members to take up learning to benefit their health and wellbeing.

Stephen believes keeping the mind active can play an instrumental role in staving off dementia.

“Stephen is always keen to give back to others. His passion for learning and gaining knowledge is a wonderful thing that inspires others to follow in his footsteps,” comments Stephen’s nominator, Tabby Toussaint, Head of Humanities at Build.

Stephen said: “Learning helps me connect with other people and gives me the opportunity to be creative. I know it will continue to benefit my wellbeing, particularly as I become older.”

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at Learning and Work Institute, said: “Stephen’s award recognises his special commitment to learning.

“Lifelong learning is crucial for all of us as jobs and society changes around us, and as the working population gets older. Festival of Learning is all about people being inspired by stories like Stephen’s. "

Visit the Festival of Learning website for full details on this year’s awards.


Nick Stuart CB, Build Fellow

Nick Stuart CB, Build Fellow

Festival of Learning - Patron's Award

Learn more about Stephen's adult learning experiences on the Festival of Learning website.