Rachel & Tim are ‘Outstanding learners’


Lifetime Training fitness learners Rachel Price Whittle and Tim Foley, from Redditch, have been announced as the joint winners of the Festival of Learning Learning for Work award (sponsored by NOCN) in the Central region for their exceptional achievements in adult learning.

This is their story…

Rachel and her fiancé Tim were both unhappy in their jobs. Tim, a bricklayer, was working long hours with relatively low pay, and Rachel set up her own cupcake business when she couldn’t find work after graduating from university.

Keen sports and fitness enthusiasts, Rachel and Tim had been informally coaching at their local boxing school. When Rachel enquired about a short course with Lifetime she was told about Advanced Learner Loans which would give her the option to study an industry recognised qualification. Using the loan, both Tim and Rachel studied a Level 3 Personal Training Diploma.

They have now left their jobs and have set up their own personal training studio, running 20 fitness classes a week and working with a variety of clients who have mental ill health and physical disabilities. Discovering the Advanced Learner Loans meant they could both re-train and have their dream jobs.  

Rachel discusses how the Advanced Learner course has affected their lives: “The Advanced Learner Loan allowed us to take on a course that we would never have done if we’d had to pay up front.” And Tim talks about the impact learning has made on his life: “The course helped me realise I can do what I actually want to do.”

Sean Cosgrove, Head of Operations – Commercial at Lifetime Training, added: “It’s heart-warming to see the belief that Rachel and Tim had in themselves and one another to aim for and reach their ultimate life goals. This is what working in the training sector is all about – helping people to improve their prospects and careers through their unwavering commitment to learning and development.” 

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at Learning and Work Institute, said: “It’s great to see Rachel and Tim taking on a new challenge together and winning what I believe is the first couple to win a joint award in the Festival of Learning’s 25-year history. Rachel and Tim’s story will resonate with many people who perhaps feel stuck in their job but have aspirations to retrain. 

“Lifelong learning is crucial for all of us as jobs and society changes around us, and as the working population gets older. Festival of Learning is all about people being inspired by stories like Rachel and Tim’s. We encourage everyone to get involved in learning and access Government support through the National Careers Service for information or Advanced Learner Loans for access to funding where it’s needed.”

For more information about our fitness courses check out our Fitness and Active Leisure pages.

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