“My learning has made a massive difference to my mental and physical health. I have an improved sense of self-esteem. I have a job that I want to get up and go to in the morning and I contribute to my household income. I am more motivated than I have ever been.”Naomi, Award winner
An inspirational woman who overcame the odds and returned to learning, has been recognised as a finalists in the national Festival of Learning.
Naomi left school with no formal qualifications, and she had struggled to hold down any form of work. She felt that her conditions – including ADHD, autism and dyslexia – had held her back from achieving her potential.
With the help of her support worker – and driven by her desire to become a barber – Naomi identified a course with ACL Essex. She has excelled since returning to learning, gaining a number of qualifications, and improving her skills.
Naomi – 27 – is now working in a barbershop three days a week, while continuing her studies. Alongside her employment and studies, she also volunteers with a local charity, providing free haircuts to people living with dementia.
Returning to learning has transformed Naomi’s life. She feels much more confident and hopeful, and is working towards opening a barbershop of her own in the future.
“Naomi’s starting point is far removed from where she is now and her future possibilities are endless. Her story shows what it is possible to achieve in a short space of time with the right attitude.”Tania Shurlock, Naomi’s tutor
Naomi has been announced as one of six finalists in the Festival of Learning 2020 awards. Organised by Learning and Work Institute, and supported by the Department for Education, Festival of Learning is an annual campaign which aims both to celebrate the power of learning to transform lives, and to encourage more adults to take part.
“‘Naomi’s story is a great example of how, with the right support – learning can build both your skills and confidence – helping people to transform their lives. We wish Naomi every success in continuing her learning.”Stephen Evans, chief executive of Learning and Work Institute
Festival of Learning awards celebrate the commitment and achievements of outstanding adult learners, tutors, projects and employers. These stories show us how transformative lifelong learning can be, not just for individuals but for families, communities and society as a whole. As we look to build back better after the pandemic, we need to redouble our efforts to provide access to lifelong learning opportunities for all.
We will be sharing inspirational stories from our learners and staff throughout the week – so keep an eye on our Facebook!
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