Inspirational Anna a national finalist at Festival of Learning Awards


University Centre Weston graduate Anna Palmer, a 30-year-old who lives in Clevedon, was a national finalist for the Return to Learning Award at the Festival of Learning Awards 2020 last night (Tuesday 3rd November).

The awards celebrated learning and showcased the wide-ranging impacts adult learning has on individuals and their families.

Anna was nominated for this award as she turned her life around following her marriage breakdown, when she decided to return to learning at Weston College.

Anna commented; “I’ve always had a love for creativity and being able to make someone feel good about themselves but following unhealthy relationships and a lack of support with my son who has additional needs, I suffered from low self-esteem, depression and anxiety.

“After my marriage separation I found the strength, with the help of my friends, to enrol on an adult course. The Level 2 Hair and Media course was an adult course at Weston College. It consisted of 3-days a week in college, so I could comfortably work part-time and be a hands-on mum with my 2 children. I absolutely loved this course and after completing it I immediately enrolled on a Level 3 Theatrical Hair and Make-up course which was also timetabled over 3-days a week so worked well for me.

“With the support of Weston College and my tutors believing that I had the potential to complete a university course, I decided to start the BA (Hons) degree in Hair, Make-up and Prosthetics for Production at UCW, and alongside this I started my own hair and make-up business called Anna Palmer’s Hair, SFX Make-up and Prosthetics.

“The thought of going to university had never crossed my mind before my journey at the College, however I have now completed a BA Honours degree!

“My friends and family are so proud of me. They’ve seen me in my darkest place and have watched me grow in determination, confidence and maturity.

“My studies at Weston College and UCW have helped me to show my children you really can achieve anything you want even when you feel you’re not good enough and just want to give up. Even though it’s been hard for us all, to me this is one of the greatest things I could have ever proved to them.

“I finally feel happy and excited for the future. I’ve always wanted to have a qualification and career that I enjoy and take pride in. I am now in an industry I am passionate about, earning my own money and enjoying life to the full, with my children and the people I love.

“I really do want to thank all my friends, family and my tutors at Weston College and UCW for believing in me”.

Sandy Day, UCW’s Programme Coordinator for Hair Make-up and Prosthetics for Production, said: “The Festival of Learning Awards is such a great initiative and as soon as I found out about it I thought of Anna and started writing her nomination right there and then! I’ve taught Anna throughout her time at Weston College and UCW, and I’m so proud of the professional and personal journey she’s been on and all of her wonderful achievements along the way.”

Principal and Chief Executive, Dr Paul Phillips CBE said, “Anna is a phoenix rising from the ashes. She is determined to have a brighter future for herself and her children and her level of commitment has been a shining example to her family, friends, and other students. Congratulations Anna, you’re a true inspiration.”

See how our degree in Hair, Make-up and Prosthetics for Production, which is delivered in Partnership with Bath Spa University, could help your career too at