Two Eastbourne women – Julie Dirico and Diana Lelliott – are celebrating today after being crowned the winners at a regional ceremony for the learndirect Inspiration Awards.
Julie won the ‘into work’ award whilst Diana won the ‘inspiring learner’ award in the south region at a ceremony at Wokefield Park in Reading.
Julie, 49, is an inspirational single mum. She suffers from ME but was determined to update her IT skills to help her get back into work and be a role model for her son. Her illness meant she was forced to take breaks from her learning but she refused to give up and always returned with renewed vigour. After achieving a level 1 IT qualification at Eastbourne Library, her new skills helped her to gain a job as a receptionist, where she is now thriving in her new found independence. She continues to learn and is now about to complete a level 2 qualification alongside work.