days to deadline of 20th May 2011

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


The National Training Awards Press Office will send out press releases following the announcement of the regional finalists, regional ceremonies and the Gala.

The Press Office will also be happy to provide comments from spokespeople at The National Training Awards and Government for you to include in your own releases.

And don't forget to include any press releases on your website, intranet and in your company newsletter to ensure your exciting news reaches all your stakeholders.


Anchor House Trainer Gives Hope to Homeless

Aggrie Chikiwa is Head of Education and Training at homeless charity Anchor House, and a mentor on the learning needs of homeless people, and his story is one of remarkable transformation.

Aggrie was a professional teacher in Zimbabwe who moved to the UK in 2002, but failed to secure a teaching job because he lacked UK-based training and qualifications. He got a street cleaner job and was studying part-time to complete a Bachelor of Education Degree, but suffered an industrial injury.

Subsequently he lost his job, experienced family breakdown and then homelessness. He was offered a place at Anchor House where his life and hope were restored. As a volunteer he taught police cadets, and led functional skills and citizenship courses.

Meanwhile, he focused on continuous education, gaining three qualifications including his Bachelor of Education Degree. He used his teaching skills as a volunteer teacher of Maths, English, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and Vocational and Employability Skills.

Aggrie benefited from Anchor House's Aspirations Programme that places learning new skills at the heart of ending homelessness by enabling service users to find work that leads to a rewarding life.

Anchor House's residents include the long-term unemployed and homeless, who have experienced drug addiction, crime and family breakdown. As a result, the charity offers a profound service to society in restoring people to work and self-sufficient living.

Anchor House employed Aggrie as a teacher in 2007 and he designed an Education and Training and Employment Programme that has gone on to help hundreds of people to engage with their families, build confidence and self-esteem, manage money and get involved in social activities. "They have become smart, self-aware citizens who are now able to leverage their intelligence, talents and skills to serve the highest good of all," says Aggrie.

About his own journey he says, "My learning has increased the way I treat people with respect, compassion, empathy, brotherhood, caring and friendship. I now find residents to be constantly striving to be more disciplined, organised, skilful and productive."

Subsequently, Aggrie was promoted to Head of Education and Training. And he was involved in the creation of 118 individual learning zones at the centre, allowing residents to use e-learning in their rooms. Anchor House also has two IT suites, three construction workshops and meeting rooms.

In 2009, 39 residents found jobs and 32 moved on to independent living. Every quarter the centre has over 2500 visits from the wider community to use training facilities, health programs and e-learning. In 2010, 500 people used its English, Maths and Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) training.

"Anchor House has progressed from little more than a bed and breakfast facility to a flagship Life Skills Centre, attracting media attention locally and globally,” says Aggrie. He adds that the Aspirations Programme continues to transform the UK's approach to homelessness to one built on personal aspiration and local opportunity.

Keith Fernett says, "As Director of Anchor House I became aware of Aggrie when he came to us as an unemployed and homeless person who had a passion of education. His insight has helped me to develop an award-winning organisation.”

He adds, “Aggrie is a complete role model for our residents, his story has inspired hundreds of homeless people, and the fact that he is now Head of Education and Training gives him enormous credibility. The distance travelled by Aggrie includes gaining employment, his own home and having his family reunited and his self-confidence has been restored. Training is now cool and acceptable.”


Entry name: Anchor House
Location: 81, Barking Road, London, E16 4HB
Entry no: 100818
Region: LON
For further information contact:
Tom York – Senior PR Executive 020 7429 2828 or tom.york@ukskills.org.uk
Antonia Lee – Marketing Manager 020 7429 2825 or antonia.lee@ukskills.org.uk


Social Media
Including news of your success with the National Training Awards on your company's social networking site is another great way to shout about your achievements.

Company literature
Announcing you have won a National Training Award can add real kudos to your company - remember to include your achievement on email signatures, business cards and company literature.