Co-op College invites entries for Love to Learn competition

The winner of the top prize will receive a £100 Waterstone’s voucher

The Co-operative College is celebrating its centenary with activities including an essay competition for those who love to learn.

Now in its second edition, the Love to Learn competition is asking for blog posts between 250 and 650 words about the love for education and learning.

The College has already received a number of stories. One of these comes from Katie Thorpe, a teacher of almost 18 years who shares her passion for learning all the time as well as engaging with the wider community.

Chief executive and principal of the Co-operative College Simon Parkinson said: “The return of our Love to Learn competition offers a unique opportunity for everyone to share their stories about the influence that learning has had on their lives.

“From tales of inspirational teachers to that lightbulb moment when developing a passion for a particular topic or subject, we all have a story about the impact that education has had on our lives or the people around us.”

In a blog post, Mr Parkinson shares his own experience as a lifelong learner who left school at 16 and went straight into work at Salford City Council – which, along with Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, invested in his education through day release.

This allowed him to complete technical qualifications, leading a degree as a part-time student from Salford University. Later on, he completed a masters in public administration at Warwick University, again on a part-time basis.

“This type of investment by public sector organisations in education for their employees was common practice at the time and benefited not just myself, but also the public sector organisations and the communities they served. It’s vital that organisations, including co-operative enterprises, continue to invest in the talent of tomorrow,” he writes.

An educational charity, the College works across the UK and internationally to promote co-operative values, ideas, principles and practices. It has been providing education, training and research for over a century.

The winner of the top prize will receive a £100 Waterstone’s voucher. The competition is open to all UK residents. Those interested have until 28 February to submit their articles.

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