Awards for the Social Media Surgeries – and boy did we feel like frauds!

I’m probably going to cover to much ground in this and waffle a bit.  So lets start with something you can get a handle on:

Award the first….


A week or two ago we picked up an Adult Learners Week 2013 Award for the Social Media Surgeries.  It was an honour and I think an achievement.  1500 nominations turned into to 21 national awards. Ours is the BBC Learning Through Technology Award.  It’s an award for the close to 4000 people who so far been to a surgery. It also for the almost 500 people who been a surgeon – and helped people learn.

I try avoiding getting the surgeries tied up in ideas of formal learning.  I’ve always argued they are a place where people can get on with each first and foremost – learning improves as the relationships shape up.  NIACE understood informal learning well.

So thank you BBC Learning  and NIACE.  This is the film NIACE  made about the surgeries:

It meant a trip to an awards do in London for Steven Flower (Various Manchester Surgeries),  Steph Jennings (Lots of Birmingham and Wolverhampton surgeries – and works with me to deliver surgeries for public sector bodies), myself and George Marston.  George is a volunteer running the Low Hill Community Centre and he more than doubled visits after learning to use social media at a local surgery, one which was supported/funded by Wolverhampton Homes (thanks Kate Reynolds) , Wolverhampton Police (thanks Mark Payne) and the Partnerships team at Wolverhampton Council (thanks Sam Axtell).

Here we started to shrink into our chairs.  So many people had overcome so much through learning that I certainly felt like messing about with a laptop didn’t quite match up to their achievements.  Here’s a couple to watch, including the brill brum organsiation MyTime CIC

and Jenny Dimmock

There was another trip to Leicester for the regional awards.  This time with two people.  Austin Rodriguez – who’s worked with us through the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership to help change the way communities are using social media in Brum.  Austin has himself become a prolific blogger  ( at  and other sites) and now shares his skills at social media surgeries. And Lol Thurstan – an astonishing man who took just three weeks to go from knowing nothing about publishing to the web to running his own hyperlocal blog ( )  alongside local police officers.

Awards – the ones I didn’t mention….


This is where I go  on a bit too much.  For some reason I’m reluctant to write about the awards we get here – or anywhere.  We encourage our clients to share their achievements online – but I’m a bit rubbish at it for us.  Anyone who knows me will know I’m not shy – can sometimes be a bit cocky.  I’ve no idea what it’s about. So for the record two other awards I’ve not mentioned on this site before.

Innovation in a Networked Society.  First Place in this European wide competition run by The Oxford Internet Institute and the Knetworks programme from the European Union – last November (I think)

Creative City Award – most helpful thing in Birmingham – voted by the public 2009 (I xan’t even find a link now!) .



  1. Jude Habib says:

    Nick et al. You should be proud of everything you’ve achieved & all these awards. You’ve made a huge impact through your innovation. You are a total inspiration.
    Keep up the work & do share your news
    Jude x

  2. glynis says:

    you are all marvellously English! Hoorah for the ‘oh it was nothing, but thanks’ response. Civilised society done and seen to be done …:-)

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