A truly inspirational Adult learner has turned her life around and shown determination, commitment and resilience to overcome extreme challenges.

Rachel Crompton from Radcliffe was working in Healthcare as a Theatre Nurse when in 2010 she was involved in a terrible accident which left her bed-bound. The multiple injuries that Rachel suffered meant she was no longer able to work, she could not get about without a special walker and suffered from anxiety and depression, all of which badly affected her confidence.

Rachel was determined to get back into work and in 2017 made the decision to visit Bury Job Centre where she was referred to Bury College’s No Barriers Project, a programme which aims to develop individual’s skills. With the support of the team, Rachel successfully managed to re-engage with learning and moved onto complete some structured courses including Employability, Autism Awareness, Health and Social Care and Introduction to Hair and Beauty. These training programmes enabled her to rebuild her confidence and self- esteem.

During her time studying at Bury College, Rachel identified a passion for Hairdressing and has successfully achieved her Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma in Women’s Hairdressing, which are both industry recognised qualifications. Rachel’s success also includes securing a job at a Hairdressers, competing in national hairdressing competitions and attending community presentations and events to help inspire other adults to return to learning.

Commenting on her progress, 40-year-old Rachel said, “My accident had a huge effect on my confidence and self-belief. Once I recovered enough to walk outside the confines of my home I made up my mind that I wanted more - I wanted my life back. Discussions with my Job Centre Plus Advisor resulted in me being referred to Bury College’s No Barriers project. The team there helped me plan what I was capable of doing and started me on my learning journey. One key goal and something to test me was to walk into the main college campus and start a 12-week Level 1 Hairdressing course which really was my leap of faith moment. Coming into College everyday helps me to build my confidence and control my anxiety attacks, which are becoming less frequent thanks to all the support I receive.”

In recognition of her achievements and her progress, Rachel was nominated by Lynne Woods, Bury College Ambassador for Community Learning, for a Festival of Learning Award. This is a national accolade which celebrates the success of adults and how they have overcome adversity to gain employability skills and inspire others. Rachel will be rewarded with a certificate.