A Syrian refugee who fled his home country last year has been honoured in the West Berkshire Learner Achievement Awards for his success in learning English since he arrived.
Mostafa Haji fled the atrocities in Syria with his wife Ghalia and their four children for a new life in West Berkshire, but barely spoke any English.
As such he signed up for an intensive 60-hour programme with the Berkshire School of English (BSE) to learn the basics, before moving onto a course at Newbury College.
And to recognise his efforts, Mostafa has been presented with a learner achievement award by West Berkshire Council chairman Quentin Webb.
He said: “I wanted to learn because England is my new home and I want to fit in and understand everything around me.”
Claire Middleton, director of the BSE, nominated Mostafa for the award.
She said: “Mostafa has worked tirelessly to develop his language skills and has been able to forge connections and friendships within the community, settle his children in local schools and support his wife to adapt to their new way of life.
“His studies have also enabled him to help his family to develop their own English language skills and he is now able to look for employment opportunities across the district.”
The awards were presented at a special ceremony held at Shaw House in Newbury.
Other winners included Vernon Pocock, for gaining an advanced apprenticeship in plumbing and heating, and Newbury College tutors Jacky Purtill and Sarah Whittam, commended for their inspiring teaching.
Lynne Doherty, the council’s executive member for education, said: “We are delighted to support the Learner Achievement Awards.
“They demonstrate the depth of learning opportunities available to adults across West Berkshire covering professional, academic and vocational qualifications, apprenticeships, community development, leisure courses and family learning.
“They also recognise the enormous effort made by people to learn under the most difficult circumstances and to succeed where others may have given up.”