Senior Adult Learner

Bernadette Taylor

2018 National Winner

After seeing an advert for New Beginnings evening classes at the University of East London, 71-year-old Bernadette decided it was time to return to learning and realise her dreams.

Bernadette left school at 16 without formal qualifications. After years of caring for others, both in her personal life and her job as a nursing assistant, Bernadette realised she now had the time in retirement to begin a new learning journey and achieve something for herself.

Although initially anxious because of her age, Bernadette signed up for the 12-week New Beginnings course which prepares people who have been out of education for a long time to embark on a Degree programme. Bernadette excelled at all elements of the course, from writing essays and delivering presentations, to overcoming nerves about technology, and has now embarked on a BA in Fashion Design at the University of East London.

Bernadette said, “New Beginnings has taught me to believe in myself.  I am finally doing something just for me”.

Bernadette’s nominator, tutor Caroline McGlynn, said, “Bernadette threw herself into learning and brought an energy and glamour to the classes. She epitomises the phrase ‘lifelong learning’.”

Bernadette’s long-term goal is to complete her Degree with a fashion show where people diagnosed with cancer are the models and stars for a day.