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11 May 2010
For immediate release


Mark Beaton, aged 44, from Brixton, has fought his way back from the depths of
mental and physical illness, homelessness and unemployment to become an
excellent student, while also starting his own business as a sports massage
therapist. His dedication and commitment to learning is being recognised with a
National Learning Works Award as part of Adult Learners‟ Week 15 - 21 May 2010.

Even as he struggled to gain new skills and build the self-confidence he had lacked
all his life, Mark was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome which threatened the
manual dexterity he needed for the practical skills to succeed. Undeterred, on
recovery from an operation, he embarked on the City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in
Body Massage, graduating from Morley College, London, in 2009 with distinctions in
both the theory and practical exams. Mark went on to complete his Sports Massage
Diploma at Morley College in February 2010. He came off benefits and got advice
and training to set-up his own business.

He admits that, 30 years after leaving school, “as a very troubled youngster”,
studying was a tough challenge. But it has given him confidence that had always
eluded him up to that point, he says, “Adult education has not only given me the
chance for a career change, at 44, it has given me a total life change.” Julia Wood,
his tutor at Morley College, now uses him as a role model for her current students.

Ela Piotrowska, Principal of Morley College says „Mark Beaton‟s story is truly
inspirational and is proof that learning new skills, at any age, really can transform
people‟s lives.‟

Ela describes Morley College as „virtually a limitless resource for learning which
changes lives, helps us reflect, learn new skills, improve our life chances, taps into
our creativity and contributes to developing the skills of the nation‟.
During Adult Learners‟ Week (15 – 21 May), Morley College is opening its doors with
a host of free events, including free drop-in and taster classes, exhibitions, musical
performances and its Long Live Learning! Awards Ceremony on Thursday 20th

For further information about Adult Learners‟ Week activities at Morley College visit or call 020 7450 1914.


For further information about Mark Beaton or Adult Learners‟ Week activities at Morley College, contact:
Linda Berrigan, Head of Marketing and Communications, Morley College, on 020 7450 1803 or email

Notes to Editors

    1.   Mark Beaton will be presented with an award at the Morley College Long Live Learning! Adult
         Learners‟ Week awards ceremony on Thursday 20 May 2010. Journalists and photographers
         are invited to attend the event. More information is available from Linda Berrigan, Head of
         Marketing and Communications, Morley College on 020 7450 1803 or email

    2.   His achievements will also be recognised at the London Adult Learners' Week Regional Award
         Ceremony, at Waltham Forest College on 18 May 2010 and he will receive a National Learning
         Works Award at the Adult Learners‟ Week National Awards Ceremony at the Queen Elizabeth
         II Conference Centre in Westminster, London on Friday 21 May 2010. Journalists and
         photographers are invited to attend the event. More information is available from Ed Melia,
         NIACE Press Officer, on 0116 204 4248 or 07795 358 870.

    3.   Adult Learners‟ Week, 15 – 21 May 2010, is the largest annual celebration of adult learning in
         the UK, organised by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE). It is
         supported by the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, the European Social Fund,
         Careers Advice, Ofcom - the Office of Communications, the Specialist Schools and Academies
         Trust, Booktrust, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, Ufi/learndirect, Foundation
         Degree Forward, National Open College Network, the Qualifications and Curriculum
         Development Authority and BECTA. More details at:

    4.   Morley College was founded in the 1880‟s and is one of London‟s largest adult education
         colleges. Based near Waterloo, it provides full and part time, day and evening courses year
         round to some 10,000 students. Areas of study include: Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Exercise
         & Health, Languages & Humanities, Skills for Life and ESOL. The College also provides
         Access to Higher Education courses in Media Studies, Humanities, Social Work, Social
         Science, Nursing, Human Science and Music, as well as Pre-Access courses in Nursing and
         Humanities, and Social Sciences. Morley‟s Summer School courses (starting from 5 July) are
         now open for enrolment – visit for course information and online

    5.   Morley College
         61 Westminster Bridge Road
         London SE1 7HT
         Main College Switchboard: 020 7928 8501

         Tube – Lambeth North, Waterloo, Elephant & Castle
         Train - Waterloo Main, Waterloo East, Elephant & Castle
         Bus – No‟s 1, 3, C10, 12, 53, 59, 148, 159, 453

         Morley College is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 2829836.
         Registered Charity no. 1023523.