STUC Helen Dowie Award for Lifelong Learning
Helen Dowie Award 2006
The first annual STUC Helen Dowie Award for Lifelong Learning recipient was Helen Douglas, a Union Learning Representative for Unite at Remploy in Clydebank.
Helen suffered from polio as a child and is disabled as a result. She was chosen to receive this award because, although she had an extremely negative experience of education and developed tremendous psychological barriers to learning, Helen is straight talking and pro-active, and works hard to break down stigma and physical barriers to learning while negotiating with providers to meet the needs of members of Unite: Amicus and Community, the two unions in Remploy Clydebank.
Largely due to Helen's hard work, 90% of the workforce in Remploy Clydebank have taken up learning. Remploy Clydebank employs people with a variety of physical barriers to learning, including blindness, deafness and accessibility issues. Helen has encouraged those who perhaps would not have had the self-esteem or courage to take part in learning.
Helen was presented with the award by the then Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, Allan Wilson MSP, at the STUC Annual Congress held in Perth in April 2006.