PEOPLE who have grasped a second chance to learn helped Bishop Auckland College mark 11 years of commitment to a national education campaign.

A record number of candidates were nominated for this year's Adult Learners Awards evening, held in the Ken Handley Suite.

Michael Purkiss, an holistic therapy student from Copley, was voted winner of the Commitment to Learning Award and stepped in to present certificates to other nominees when the original guest speaker cancelled because of illness.

He was nominated by his lecturer, Carol Coates, for his determination to succeed.

Sarah Neil, from Hunwick, won the Outstanding Individual Award. She achieved distinctions in her National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health examinations and was nominated by her lecturer, Les Vollans. Group winners were the computer literacy and information technology (CLAIT Plus) group from the Auckland Youth and Community Centre, nominated by Ingrid Hammond (South Bishop Auckland community education and training co-ordinator) for their thirst for knowledge and the support they gave each other.