Adult learners in the spotlight

October 26 2018
Adult learners in the spotlight

Two people from Thornbury are amongst a group of 40 who have been recognised for their achievements as adult learners.

Certificates were presented at an awards ceremony to those who had completed qualifications in English and Maths.  One resident received their English Functional Skills certificate, and another achieved their NOCN Level 1 Award in both IT User Skills and in Office Admin Skills.

The courses were offered through the South Gloucestershire Community Learning Service. Chair of South Gloucestershire Council Cllr Rachael Hunt said: “It is fantastic to see so many residents taking community learning courses and I would like to congratulate everyone on their achievements. Making a return to learning later in life can be very rewarding and it’s inspiring to meet such a wide range of people from throughout South Gloucestershire who are so enthusiastic about their studies.”

This year Wellbeing and IT courses are on offer at Thornbury Library. There is also a course on working with children with additional needs which is being run in partnership with Jigsaw Thornbury. 

The overall Learner of the Year Award for adults went to Emma Sutherland, who’s 37 and lives in Stoke Gifford.  Four years ago, Emma had a fall when she was sleepwalking which left her with serious injuries. She had to learn to walk, talk, feed and dress herself.  

Emma was originally working as an NHS Physiotherapy assistant and aspired to go to university.  Now she has passed her Level 1 Functional Skills in English and Maths and her dream is back on track. She said: “Community-based learning is a very nurturing environment to learn in and the tutors helped me discover my own way of learning; never once did I feel stupid for not understanding something. I can even write letters and emails now!”

Over 1,000 learners took courses in South Gloucestershire last year. For a full list go to