Ann Quigley, aged 54, from Manchester, is rebuilding her life through learning, after taking seven years out to care for her ill mother. Her dedication and commitment to improving her life through learning is being recognised with a Regional Individual Learner Award as part of Adult Learners’ Week 12 - 18 May 2012.
Ann gave up her job as a sewing machinist in 1997 to look after her ill mother, who sadly passed away in 2004. By this time Ann had developed arthritis and asthma and was unable to return to work, so she enrolled on a literacy and numeracy course at Benchill Community Centre. Ann was encouraged to take the European Computer Driving License (ECDL) qualifications and although she’d never used a computer before, she loved it and soon passed levels one and two. Ann’s skills and enthusiasm shone through and she was asked by tutor, Stephen, if she’d help with the IT Suite admin on a voluntary basis, which she did, then becoming an invigilator and marker for the BCS test centre. By 2008, Ann was also voluntarily supporting the skills of a class of adults with learning difficulties and she is now in the process of completing the level three advanced ECDL certificate.
“Thanks to Steve [Tutor] and Brenda’s [Centre Manager] encouragement, I’ve done all this and more. I know I have grown in my own confidence and aspirations and my aim is to encourage other people to reach their full potential,” said Ann.
Further education, Skills and Lifelong Learning Minister John Hayes said, "I never fail to be impressed by the achievements of the winners and those shortlisted in NIACE’s Adult Learners’ Week Awards. Their stories demonstrate the power adult learning has to transform peoples’ lives and the communities they live in.”
He continued, "Last month we announced England's first National Careers Service for all those aged 13 and over which will give high quality advice to those who want to get on in life and these winners prove it’s never too late to re-train or start a new course."
David Hughes, NIACE Chief Executive, said, “Every one of our award winners, for this year’s Adult Learners’ Week, illustrates how learning can help people to change their lives, make them feel part of their community and help support them in their future. Ann’s life has improved because of her commitment, enthusiasm and ambition. I hope that others will be inspired by this story and see the role that learning can play to help them get a better life.”