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WAES artist wins inspirational Festival of Learning Award

WAES learner Geraldine Crimmins has won a London and South East Outstanding Individual award as part of Festival of Learning, led by Learning & Work Institute for her outstanding achievement in adult learning and contribution to her local community.

The Festival of Learning Awards showcase and celebrate the wonderful things that learning can achieve for individuals, families, communities and employers.

Geraldine turned her life around by returning to education and enrolling on an art course at Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES), following a difficult time in her life, as a result of suffering a breakdown and losing her home and two businesses. While studying, Geraldine drew on her homeless experiences working for the charity CRISIS by contributing to the running of Cafe Art, to help and inspire others in need. This work involves promoting and encouraging the work of homeless artists, publishing and selling the calendars that display their work.

Geraldine works tirelessly to better people’s lives with art, and to continue her good work, she has installed a studio in her home and is developing a network of fellow artists to build a creative learning community.

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 the learning their lives and the lives of others through learning.

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.

"The overwhelming result of studying is that it has given my life a renewed meaning and purpose.”

Geraldine 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.

Geraldine says, “I am building a network of fellow artists to build a creative learning community. The overwhelming result of studying is that it has given my life a renewed meaning and purpose.”

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. Geraldine’s story encompasses what the Festival of Learning is all about - people achieving their learning and career ambitions through their determination, passion and hard work and then using this to inspire others”.

Festival of Learning (previously Adult Learners' Week) is a national celebration of lifelong learning - the largest in England. Find out more at www.festivaloflearning.org.uk

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