WEA learner, Jackie Butterworth, was presented with the prestigious Learning for Health award from the Festival of Learning at an award ceremony which took place at City Lit College on Wednesday 6th July.  

The Festival of Learning is an organisation that recognises and celebrates achievements of adults who use learning as a tool to transform their lives.  The Learning for Health award recognises those who have had life-changing experiences through learning whilst battling mental or physical illnesses.  

Jackie was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2013 and faced further challenges that saw her life turn upside down. Struggling with confidence and low mood, Jackie decided to take a chance and signed up to a WEA course. This started a love for learning and renewed confidence.  

Jackie continued to attend WEA courses on a range of topics and so profound was the impact, she decided she wanted to help others.  

This led to Jackie founding, Second Chance Ostomy – a community group for those who have had or are about to have an ostomy. Support is also available to family members and carers.

Upon winning the award, Jackie Butterworth, WEA learner and Founder of Second Chance Ostomy said: 

“If anyone would have said to me two years ago that I’d now be the Founder and Chair of Second Chance Ostomy – I’d have laughed. Actually, I’d have cried. I was so low, suffering through pain and a marriage break-up. It was only through the support of others that I’m now able to smile again and give something back.”

Simon Parkinson, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the WEA said:  

“We are proud to be a part of Jackie’s journey. Bringing adult education within reach of those who need it will always be the very core of why we do what we do here at the WEA. Jackie is yet another fantastic example of how adult education can help us to achieve dreams we never thought possible.” 

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