Never too old to learn

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A STUDENT has proved you are never too old to learn after a college course helped her career progress.

East Durham College student Val McLoughlin has progressed from being an activities co-ordinator at a care home to managing a residential dementia care unit.

The 44-year-old has been developing her skills at the college, based in Willerby Grove, Peterlee, since 2008 and she has recently enrolled on a Level 5 diploma in management at the college.

Her commitment to learning was recognised with a regional individual award at Durham Cathedral as part of the 20th Adult Learners’ Week.

Val was employed as an activities co-ordinator working in a large care home and often wanted to discuss the care of residents with colleagues.

But, she felt her opinion would not count as she had no vocational qualifications.

Val was nervous about written work, but after talking to college staff, she undertook an NVQ3 in health and social care which she passed in 2008.

Two years ago Val became manager of Lindisfarne EMI Residential Unit in Chester-le-Street and has since completed an Investors Learning Management Award.

She said: “My life has changed for the better and I loved every minute of my learning to get to where I am now.

“If you are willing to learn and put the work in, the results are astonishing.”

Janet Lawrence, a work-based assessor and internal verifier at the college, said: “I can honestly say Val has a thirst for learning and a commitment to improve the service she provides for all vulnerable adults.

“Val to this day continues to strive and self-develop.

“She is an inspiration to her staff team and others around her.”