Sarah Allington, age 26, from Stourbridge and Dudley has won the Central England Learning for Work award as part of the Festival of Learning, led by Learning & Work Institute, for her outstanding achievement in adult learning. The Festival of Learning Awards showcase and celebrate the wonderful things that learning can achieve for individuals, families, communities and employers.
In 2011 as a result of an industrial accident, Sarah suffered a life-changing injury that caused mobility issues including partial paralysis in her left leg and weakness and sensation issues in her left arm and hand. The accident left her in constant pain and unable to stay in her job. Looking for something creative to help with her recovery, Sarah attended a silver jewellery making class at the Adult Education Wolverhampton. Since then, Sarah has developed the skills and confidence to start up her own successful creative business producing handmade silver jewellery and greetings cards, called Sarah Ellen Designs.
Festival of Learning is back for its 25th year to celebrate lifelong learning and the benefits it has on people, society and the economy. Inspirational individuals, tutors, projects and employers across the UK are being awarded as part of the Festival - showcasing the impact of learning on their lives and the lives of others.
The Festival of Learning is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) which focuses on improving employment opportunities, promoting social inclusion and investing in skills by providing help people need to fulfil their potential.
Sarah joins 28 inspirational regional and national winners that have been selected for a range of awards across the four categories - including awards for individual learners, employers, innovative projects and inspirational tutors.
Sarah says learning is at the heart of her achievements, “Without the support of Adult Education Wolverhampton, it’s unlikely I would be where I am or who I am today.”
Stephen Evans, CEO of Learning & Work Institute, which leads the Festival of Learning Awards said: “Every year we receive hundreds of inspirational stories about adults who have achieved incredible things as a result of them returning to learning.
“Sarah’s story encompasses what the Festival of Learning is all about - people achieving their learning and career ambitions through determination, passion and hard work and then using this to inspire others”.