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Student and employee wins national Festival of Learning award

12 Jun 2018 4:00PM

A student and member of staff at the University of Suffolk has been announced as the winner of the Festival of Learning Patron’s Award for her exceptional achievement in adult learning.

Terrie Cornwell-Dunnett, from Shottisham was selected as the recipient of the special award by the Learning and Work Institute’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal. The award recognises individuals who, through learning, have transformed their own lives and the lives of their families, friends, their communities, and the places they work. 

As a young child, Terrie was told she would never amount to much. Fortunately, her foster father disagreed, and with his support and guidance, Terrie slowly began to believe in herself again.  Terrie went on to secure a place at college to study for a BTEC Diploma in Social Care, where her passion for social equality was ignited.  

Living with a disability herself, Terrie, age 42, has always been motivated to learn and understand more about disabilities and she has gone on to support children who are hearing-impaired for many years. 

When Terrie saw the University of Suffolk promoting a degree in Special Educational Needs and Disability Studies, Terrie knew that this was her chance to pursue something she felt passionately about. Aware that studying for a Degree as a mature student while also working at the University in the Operations Team and raising a child would be difficult, Terre was determined to progress her career and needed formal qualifications to do this.  

Terrie commented on her learning journey “I hope to achieve this degree and make valuable changes to other people’s lives. My foster dad has always believed in me and it’s this belief that motivates me to go on.”  

Terrie’s nominator, her Personal Tutor and Course Leader, Dr Allison Boggis from the University of Suffolk said “She is a remarkable woman who inspires others to achieve and reach their potential.” 

Stephen Evans, Chief Executive at Learning and Work Institute, added

“Terrie’s dream to help others like herself has been made possible by her dedication to her learning. She has overcome challenges of her own disability, low confidence and raising a family to now being a university student. We are delighted to be awarding Terrie this special accolade chosen by our Patron, HRH the Princess Royal.”

"Festival of Learning is all about inspirational stories of people like Terrie that show that anyone can benefit from learning. Lifelong learning is vital for all of us as jobs and society change around us. We encourage everyone to give learning a try, particularly in June when hundreds of free activities can be found on our Have a Go Month calendar. Further information on learning opportunities and support with the costs of courses is available through the National Careers Service, colleges and community learning providers.”


University of Suffolk Press Office
T: 01473 338476