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The awards recognise the impact the Health Forum has made in supporting adults and young people in their learning endeavours over the past year. This Year’s OCN Learning Endeavour Awards prize-giving took place at the Titanic Hotel, Belfast in June with learners and learning providers from across the north in attendance. The event was hosted by Denise Watson from U105 Radio, with Carl Frampton MBE as special quest handing out awards and bursaries. Winners were people and organisations who have taken significant strides in the field of learning, earning OCN recognised achievements as a result of their efforts.
Orlagh Robson, OCN co-ordinator at BBHF, said that her team were delighted to receive the ‘Highly Commended Provider of the year’ award. She said: “This award is lovely recognition of the hard work we have put in over the past twelve months facilitating OCN learning at the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum. We have a fantastic relationship with OCN and it’s an honour to be in a position to offer OCN qualifications to people in our local community.
“All of our OCN programmes focus on improving knowledge of health and wellbeing. The programmes educate participants about relationships, enrichment, safety, mental health awareness, resilience, sexual health, nutrition, exercise, diversity and culture; to name but a few.”
Orlagh also said that by providing a holistic approach to addressing the ‘five ways to well being,’ participants have reported that they are making healthier life choices, are enjoying an increased feeling of self-worth, can rely on more positive coping mechanisms, and ultimately have more control over their own lives.
“This has resulted in young people engaging better at school improving educational attainment; as well as developing the skills and confidence to participate in their local communities,” she said.
In the past twelve months, BBHF has successfully helped 360 individuals achieve an OCN qualification. BBHF offer OCN qualifications across a wide range of programmes, benefiting people of all ages. The ‘Moving on Up’ Programme helps young people with a range of issues such as bereavement, social isolation, or a need to improve social skills. Through this programme, BBHF have helped young people in partnership with St Joseph’s Boys School, St Cecilia’s College and the local community to gain vital OCN qualifications.
The Health Forum has also worked in partnership with the Museum of Free Derry to deliver a ‘Level 1 Community Independence’ OCN across five secondary schools in Derry. Additional programmes have seen BBHF deliver OCN qualifications in Lincoln Courts Youth Club, St Columb’s College, and St Brigid’s College. Primary school children across Derry and Strabane have also taken part in bespoke OCN workshops aimed at improving their mental health. BBHF has also delivered parenting OCNs to community sector youth organisations throughout Derry.
General Manager of the BBHF, Aileen McGuinness, said that the recent award validated the ethos of the Health Forum itself which aims to improve the health and well-being of people in the local community. She said: “At BBHF, we recognise the barriers to education that many in our community may face. Removing these barriers and promoting life-long learning is a key aspect of what we do at the Health Forum as part of our overall mission to improve health and well-being in the community.
“Thanks to OCN, we have the ability to offer people in the community access to recognised qualifications that can have a lasting, ripple effect on their lives. We look forward to continuing this work and responding to the needs of the community.”
For more information on the BBHF, visit
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