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Wiltshire mum gains Royal recognition for amazing learning journey

A Wiltshire mum who showed amazing dedication to learning to help achieve new goals has met HRH The Princess Royal at a special event.

Published 15 November 2021
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Hannah Wilkins joined with Wiltshire Council's Family and Community Learning team to help her to build her confidence and support her children with their learning. Once she had embarked on her learning journey, she discovered a passion for helping others and decided she would like to become a family outreach worker.

Her determination and dedication to learning resulted in the team nominating her for the Festival of Learning (opens new window) 2020 Awards after she took part in a number of courses with the team to help achieve her goal.

She then achieved the Patrons Award from HRH The Princess Royal. This award is given each year to someone who has made a particularly special commitment to learning, chosen by HRH from a shortlist of award nominees.

This month she finally got to meet HRH who had recognised her amazing dedication to learning. The event was held by the Learning and Work Institute to celebrate Lifelong Learning week and to recognise the achievements of the Festival of Learning Patron award winners.

Hannah sat on a learning panel talking about the impact learning has had on her life. You can watch the discussion (opens new window) from the event.

In a letter regarding the award for Hannah sent last year, HRH The Princess Royal had said: "This year's Patron's Award recipient is Hannah Wilkins. Hannah took the brave step of returning to education at age 28, having left school when she was 13 due to bullying. Motivated by a desire to better support her children and to embark on a new career path, Hannah has now completed over 20 different courses and progressed into further education. Hannah's story of determination and courage and the resulting transformation impact on her life gets to the heart of what Festival of Learning is about."

Hannah said: "My children have expressed how proud they are of me for going back to learning. It has changed our lives for the better. It has given me back my confidence to learn what I lost at a young age. It has shown myself, my friends and family that it is never too late to learn something new.

"It was an honour to be a part of the Learning and Work Institute event in London. To have the opportunity to share my views and to meet HRH The Princess Royal. Once in a lifetime opportunity that I will never forget. My children are still ever so proud of myself and my achievements. An amazing day had by all who attended the event."

Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said: "Hannah is a true inspiration. She was set on learning as a gateway to reaching her goal to become an outreach worker and she has achieved that and so much more with the help of the Family and Community Learning Team. I wish her all the best for the future.

"The future is exciting for this team and I know they will continue to make a real difference in the lives of so many people who can benefit from that additional help to get back on track or to have a boost of confidence."

The Family and Community Learning Team have a range of courses available online (opens new window). These include:

  • Family Wellbeing
  • Employability Courses
  • Helping My Child with maths, English, science and phonics
  • Helping My Child to Prepare Positively for Change
  • Helping My Child with Anxiety and Worry
  • Build your budget
  • Transitions
  • Discovering Confidence
  • Confidence and New Directions
  • Positive Futures, plus many more.    

More information can be found at (opens new window)

You can view the link to Hannah's story here (opens new window) This was filmed by the Festival of Learning.

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