Learner of the Year

Each year we award the James Hill Learner of the Year Award at our Annual General Meeting. You might be wondering about the name of the Award. Well, James Hill was an extremely committed and valued Lead volunteer, and member, who supported many, many learners in the 1990’s as well as being a quiet lifelong learning champion himself. James generously remembered Lead in his will and we want to honour his memory through the creation of this Award.

In 2016 and 2017 the nominees came from all over Scotland and we were lucky to have some of them at the AGM in Perth with their guests. The James Hill Learner of the Year Award in 2016 went to: Emma Sinkins from Ellon.


Emma Sinkins was nominated by not one, not two but by THREE different people; Barbara Taylor of Lead, Helen Henderson from Ellon Resource Centre and Aileen Lyons, who is her carer.  Through learning with Lead and other support, Emma’s confidence has grown enormously over the last couple of years and, in the words of Helen Henderson, she has blossomed.  Her achievements include attending three different work placements in the local community, including one in a charity shop where she has moved from the back room to dealing with customers and using the till out front.  Emma was also one of Lead’s first learners to achieve the new Adult Achievement Award, which is really something to be proud of.  Her ambition now is to get paid employment which those who know her agree she is more than capable of doing.