Learning as an adult is fun, rewarding and will give you new skills, but it can also have other advantages. Learners tell us that they have improved their health, relationships, confidence and independence. We call this the Wider Impact of learning. Our tutors plan your course to make sure you’ll get the greatest possible benefit from your learning. We’ve got lots of success stories from our learners that we love to share with you.
Have a read below, you might even feel inspired to have a browse on our course search to find something new to learn!

The team at Romsey Mill has helped young mum find ‘a better version’ of herself
Here are some comments from a recent learner, a young parent experiencing difficulties around the birth of a child:
“I have been attending various courses at Romsey Mill. The most recent is the Shine course, where you find out about what sort of person you are. It helps you to grow your feeling of self-worth.”
“Without Romsey Mill’s help I don’t know what would have happened. Thankfully they were there for me when I most needed help – and now my life is the complete opposite of how it was at that time.”
“I have now got a purpose for my future and I am starting to think about a career. The help that I have had from Romsey Mill has been so important in my life since I was pregnant. I lost myself on the way, but I have now found myself again – I’m a better version of myself.”

Taking the first exciting steps to transition to a new career as a professional gardener
A learner at Bottisham Village College Adult Learning started her pursuit of a career change when she enquired about a route to become a professional gardener. She was already undertaking her RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture. The recommended next course was RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture. This learner gained an immense amount of confidence in relation to the practicality of the garden design process – specifically with measuring and drawing to scale.
This learner found the course to be a comprehensive and well-structured. She also mentioned how the tutor was both encouraging and knowledgeable. This course has also complemented her previous study.
The outcome is that her studies have aided her development in professional horticulture. She has high ambitions of being successful in securing employment as a professional gardener in the near future!

Joseph… completed a successful traineeship at Switch Now
Joseph has achieved moving from an unpaid role to a paid role at The Hub, Little Paxton through doing a traineeship with Switch Now.
Joseph says:
"I wanted to do my traineeship to increase my skills and lead to employment in the future."
"Now I have a paid job which makes me happy!"
"I am now more confident to speak to people I don’t know and ask questions and I am more confident in managing my time."
Joseph talks about a typical day at work.
- I was trusted to be a key holder to my workplace building at The Hub, Little Paxton
- I manage cleaning products to ensure I don’t run out
- I complete an assessment of the building each day to plan my cleaning routine
- I use my health and safety knowledge to work safely
- I enjoy continuing to work on my maths/English
- Switch Now staff came to see me at work regularly and helped me when I had any problems.

VB... one of a group of learners supported by the Traveller Health Team
For a family going through a very difficult time, a mother learning and working towards getting a driving licence helped the family regain their independence…
VB’s husband suffered a life changing injury as he lost an eye and is now rapidly losing the sight in his remaining eye. Due to his injury his driving license was taken away, the family had limited funds and they found themselves needing to rely on family and friends to get them to hospital appointments.
VB was tutored by the Traveller Health Team to prepare for her theory test. They used a tablet and aps to help VB to learn.
Further difficult challenges faced the family whilst VB was studying. It took a lot of perseverance for VB to pass her test but she achieved this on her 6th attempt. This determination led her to receive an award at Adult Learning and Skills #BeInspired.
VB is ready to start her driving lessons! This is a step on the way to the family regaining independence and lessening their isolation.

TR, a learner at Ely Adult Learning and Skills Centre, October 2018.
‘Well I have now secured a job in the field I was after. I have more confidence that I can do anything if I put my mind to it!
It wasn’t going well for me getting a job so I came here and did all the above (ECDL Level 2, English Level 2, Maths Level 2 and Employability Entry Level 3) to give me a fighting changes to get a job.
They (Tutors at Ely Learning and Skills Centre) gave me all the support I needed and helped me feel better about myself to carry on and keep going.’

Maxine, a learner at Wisbech Adult Learning and Skills Centre, October 2018.
‘I have now registered on to the Higher Level Teaching Assistant course so I can progress in my workplace.
I work in a local primary school as a teaching assistant and in order to progress in the workplace I needed to gain English Level 2 in order to go onto a Higher Level Teaching Assistant course at the College of West Anglia. I was impressed that I was able to complete so quickly…the learning centre process allowed me to achieve quickly (to get my Level 2 in order for me to progress’

DN, a learner on Pathfinder Maths at Ely Adult Learning and Skills Centre, October 2018
‘I am a professional in the NHS and work full time… I came for ‘self betterment’ and getting rid of any fears of maths and positive thinking. I learned that maths is nothing to be scared of. Everything I learned was positive, Nothing was wasted. I got support to get my maths from basic to advanced. The experience was fantastic. You were helpful, understanding and patient. Thank you very much.’

Theresa, a learner on Functional Skills Maths and English at Level 2 and ECDL Extra Level 2
“I wanted to work in a school as a Teaching Assistant, but needed Maths, English and Computers. Since passing my exams I have got a job working with children in a pre-school. I found it very easy to study at the Adult Learning and Skills Centre, the staff are very friendly and very helpful, and there is coffee too!”

Cathryn, a learner on ECDL Extra Level 2
“I have really enjoyed doing the course and have found the support and encouragement of the staff fantastic. The Adult Learning and Skills Centre is a brilliant resource for people like me trying to improve my skills, in order to get back into the workforce.”
Cathryn’s Tutor Karen says “Cathryn has been a very keen learner, eager to complete the course so she can progress in her career”

A learner from Story Sacks, Family Learning
"This course has been an invaluable and rewarding project for myself and my children.  I would really recommend the course to anyone with small children and people to encourage your children to develop a love for books, reading and to help with speech and language skills through listening, learning and playing."
"I enrolled on a free Story Sacks course which was advertised as a great way of story-telling and creating a sack full of fun activities to encourage children’s development and family time. Over six weeks I created a story sack containing a the Gruffalo’s Child story book and then made props, games and included games, puppets, the audio CD, a fact book and other items I thought my 2 small children might enjoy.

Catherine, National Careers Service Client in Huntingdonshire
“I have secured a place on an MA course which fits around my supply teaching. I'm hoping the course will provide me with suitable knowledge and experience to support the job roles I’m interested in. Thank you for your help and advice.”

Angie,  National Careers Service client
“Once again thank you for making me feel so at ease yesterday. I have to admit that had very low expectations of how the National Careers Service could help but you blew that out of the water! Your understanding of my needs and situation has made me feel very confident that the support is there to help me get back into employment at a steady pace.”

Thrive Dynamic Mindfulness course a t Swavesey VC last term
"I just wanted to thank you again for the courses I’ve just finished.
I feel like a different person compared to where I was at when we started in September and I have loads of things I’m doing  / can try to take me forward from here. I’ve completely lost any feelings of anxiety which I was having and I feel healthier and happier all round.
I’m booked into the March emotional detox, along with a friend, so will see you then. Many thanks for all your efforts. Much appreciated!"

Abakar's story
Abakar joined classes at October half term, he is a joy to teach although his maths vocabulary is limited due to English not being his first language; he takes copious notes to research at home and is an active member of the class.
"I came to the UK in 2001 from Sudan where I attended school between the ages of 12-18.  The first thing I did was attend ESOL classes at Cherry Hinton Hall but they didn’t give a qualification so I stopped going.  I am a taxi driver in the city centre and work around my classes, I’m doing maths and English functional skills. I found out about the classes when I got a leaflet through the door.  I have 3 children, 2 go to Ridgefield primary school and my eldest son goes to Parkside, he is surprised dad goes to class but he does share his homework with me especially his maths, we are both at the same level, it’s a race to get to level 2! I want to go to university when I get my qualifications, I like science, perhaps I will study something to do with medicine"

Caroline's story
Caroline joined the maths and English functional skills courses last September, she lives in Great Abbington and travels into Cambridge to attend class twice a week, she takes three buses to get to class.  Caroline has a spiky educational profile, when we first met her she assessed at Entry 3 for maths and English, she initially lacked confidence and was a quiet member of both groups. Since September her confidence and aspirations have grown, she has befriended another class member who is at risk of homelessness and who is isolated from her own family giving her support and encouragement to attend.  Caroline’s long term goal is to support her children through education and gain employment.  Caroline speaks 6 languages.
“I was born in South Africa during the Apartheid period. During that time, there were two separate systems of education: one for whites only and another for blacks only called Bantu Education. The education offered to blacks was poor and did not equip them with even the basic literacy and numeracy skills.
When we moved to the UK, it was my life goal to improve my English and maths. Due to family commitments as a mother of three, I could not start earlier. I heard about the classes offered by Parkside Federation Academies  and decided to apply. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to complete the lessons,  I have so far been enjoying the classes and benefiting a lot. The teachers have been very helpful. I have become a volunteer at my children’s school which has helped me to make friends in the village I live in. My goal is to go on to study for a GCSE in maths and English and then use that to seek employment as a tutor, or continue to further studies.”

Dawn rebuilds her life after being referred to Adult Learning and Skills
Dawn Started the beginners course Learn My Way after she moved to Cambridge and after finding work in a café. She then went onto study ECDL at level 1.
Despite developing a debilitating allergy which caused Dawn serious eczema she overcame these struggles. Having to give up her café job, the need to gain confidence, as well as, a qualification in IT grew in order for her to find office orientated work.
Dawn has said her time at the Learning centre was a “rounded experience” and now she is “walking taller.”  Her Tutor – Terry, also highlighted she has so much more confidence and that Dawn is now fearless in trying new things.
Dawn has now successfully completed and achieved ECDL Levels 1 & 2. Dawn now volunteers at a gallery based in Cambridge. Dawn has also been asked to help in the office. The course has provided her with the knowledge and confidence she needed to help her progress at the gallery.

Ivana makes progress within her current career
Ivana had studied maths previously at school, however she had not done well and sadly achieved poor results. Coming from a sales/administration background she felt working on her maths would boost her in her current work role.
Ivana began by going to the March Learning centre with the pursuit in mind of gaining an up to date qualification firstly in Maths Functional Skills at Level two.
Ivana stated about the course content: “I found the variation in topics helped my learning and retention of information.”
The experience lead to further learning, she added: “Working on this programme and achieving a qualification at level 2 has prompted me to progress further and I have registered for and enrolled on to Functional Skills in English at level 2.”

Move on UP stories
Move On Up is a programme of learning we run for people with additional learning needs and/or autism. We work together on increasing confidence, improving skills and communication which can help lead to independence and employment.

Please click here to find out about the exciting year our learners had on the Move On Up Creative Skills course.

Mark makes progress in finding independence on the Independence Skills – Speak to Communicate Entry 2 course
Mark started the course in order to gain confidence and develop a level of independence, he mentioned, “When I was at school I was always shy and nervous. “It proved a wholesome and positive experience for Mark as he added, “I have enjoyed the course. I have done a lot of different things that I haven’t done before.”
Mark made such great progress, he said: “I feel more confident now. I am able to do more things independently.”
The impact on his life and future has been highly enriching, as Mark stated “I feel more confident now. I am able to do more things independently. I have started to use my bank account by putting money in and withdrawing it. It has made me realise that I could live independently in the future.”

Rachel’s confidence grows along with her learning progress!
Rachel came to the Independence Skills - Speak to communicate Entry 2 course with the intention to improve both her English and Maths skills. She stated, “I had done gardening at college but I felt I needed to do more Maths and English.”
The impact has been most significant for Rachel, as she explained, “It has made me more confident when meeting new people. It has made me join other clubs and events because of meeting new people on the course.”
The progress made has enriched Rachel’s life a great deal. She added “I am much more able to be involved in groups and speak up more for myself since coming to the class.”

You can also read about the winners and nominees from our #BeInspired Learner Awards here: