A WILTSHIRE mum who showed a dedication to learning has met HRH the princess royal at a special event.

Hannah Wilkins joined Wiltshire Council’s family and community learning team to help build her confidence and support her children with their education.

Since starting her journey Hannah has discovered a passion for helping others and became a family outreach worker.

Her hard work resulted in the team being nominated for the 2020 Festival of Learning awards. She then achieved the Patrons Award from HRH The Princess Royal – an accolade given to someone who has made a special commitment to learning, chosen by HRH from a shortlist.

This month, Hannah finally met HRH at an event held by the Earning and Work Institute to celebrate Lifelong Learning week.

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In a letter regarding the award for Hannah sent last year, HRH The Princess Royal had said: “This year’s Patron’s Award recipient is Hannah Wilkins. Hannah took the brave step of returning to education at age 28, having left school when she was 13 due to bullying.

"Motivated by a desire to better support her children and to embark on a new career path, Hannah has now completed over 20 different courses and progressed into further education. Hannah’s story of determination and courage and the resulting transformation impact on her life gets to the heart of what Festival of Learning is about.”

Hannah said: “My children have expressed how proud they are of me for going back to learning. It has changed our lives for the better. It has given me back my confidence to learn what I lost at a young age. It has shown myself, my friends and family that it is never too late to learn something new.

“It was an honour to be a part of the Learning and Work Institute event in London. To have the opportunity to share my views and to meet HRH The Princess Royal. Once in a lifetime opportunity that I will never forget. My children are still ever so proud of myself and my achievements. An amazing day had by all who attended the event.”

Cabinet member for education and skills, Laura Mayes said: “Hannah is a true inspiration.

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“She was set on learning as a gateway to reaching her goal to become an outreach worker and she has achieved that and so much more with the help of the Family and Community Learning Team. I wish her all the best for the future.

“The future is exciting for this team and I know they will continue to make a real difference in the lives of so many people who can benefit from that additional help to get back on track or to have a boost of confidence.”