Watch: SRC lecturer Henry Douglas from Lurgan 'totally astounded' at Further Education NI Excellence Awards honour

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A Lurgan man who has dedicated almost 40 years to helping students on their way to a successful future has described teaching in Further Education as “one of the biggest rewards” of his life.

Henry Douglas has been lecturing at the Southern Regional College (SRC) in the Faculty of Building, Technology and Engineering for 39 years.

His dedication was honoured at the first ever Further Education NI Excellence Awards when he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Speaking after receiving his award, Henry said: “Further Education is the gateway to the rest of the student’s life, should they be 16 or 60. Teaching in Further Education has been one of the biggest rewards of my life.”

Ross Smyth, SRC Principal Lee Campbell, Declan Heaney, Lubo Mulkerns and Henry Douglas at the first ever Further Education NI Excellence Awards. Picture:  Press EyeRoss Smyth, SRC Principal Lee Campbell, Declan Heaney, Lubo Mulkerns and Henry Douglas at the first ever Further Education NI Excellence Awards. Picture:  Press Eye
Ross Smyth, SRC Principal Lee Campbell, Declan Heaney, Lubo Mulkerns and Henry Douglas at the first ever Further Education NI Excellence Awards. Picture: Press Eye

The inaugural awards ceremony, held at the Armagh City Hotel, included categories reflecting the wide spectrum of learning levels and pathways available across Northern Ireland’s Further Education colleges, from introductory and supported learning to apprenticeships, higher education and lifelong learning.

The ceremony was opened by the Economy Minister Conor Murphy.

Guests at the event heard how student award recipients have improved their life and job-related skills thanks to the incredible effort they have made during their studies, and of the positive impact made on people’s lives by the winning staff members.

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A total of eight SRC students received awards on the night, including several from the Lurgan and Portadown areas.

Linzie Haire from Portadown received the Lifelong Learning Award. Linzie achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English Literature after starting at the college on an Adult Access programme and achieved the highest first class honours grading in her programme.

The FE Excellence Award for a Level 2 programme went to Ava Hamill from Moira.

A Level 2 student on the children’s care, learning and development traineeship, Ava was praised by her tutors for being an outstanding student, for her integrity and creativity, and for her extracurricular roles including organising a sleep-out for the Simon Community.

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The FE Excellence Award for Higher Education went to Declan Heaney from Lurgan who achieved outstanding academic marks on his Higher National Diploma. Declan has now progressed to a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Studies and continues to work full time.

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