Courses in Allerdale

Courses in Allerdale
Adult Learning offer a wide range of courses across the whole of Allerdale, to allow you either to gain a qualification or to learn a new skill. The qualifications we offer include English and Maths, I.T, Employability and ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). The courses we offer to help you gain new skills include: Languages, Arts and Crafts, Digital Skills, Health and Wellbeing and many more.  The courses are offered online via Zoom and via face-to-face teaching in a range of local venues.  

The team are based at Workington Library and always keen to speak to new and existing learners about their individual needs and how we can help support them.
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Meet the Team

Adult Learning - Allerdale Centre Manager

Hi, I'm Gillian Thompson the Allerdale Centre Manager.   I have worked for the service for 14 years and I have met many learners along the way so whether you are a returning learner or new to Adult Learning I look forward to supporting you.

Whether you know what you would like to learn or are still looking for some inspiration, get in touch with myself and my team and we will help you find the perfect course. 

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Allerdale Business Support Officer

Hi, I'm Andrea.  I'm the Business Support Officer for Allerdale Community Adult Learning. I work closely with the Centre Manager and Community Development Worker and assist them with a range of administrative processes. I have recently taken on this role, having previously worked as a Community Services Officer for Cumbria Library and Archive Service and as a Learning Resources Assistant at a local college.  I really enjoy helping people to access opportunities for personal development and progression.  Finding the right course can make a real difference to someone's health, happiness and wellbeing.

Our Tutors

I am Alan. My first experience of art, at the age of four, was to paint portraits of Captain Scott and Lord Nelson who appeared on the back of cornflake boxes. At six I was using perspective to draw the cornflake boxes themselves, helped by my father who also drew when he was young. My time as a teenager was spent drawing out of doors with the local farmland around Aspatria where I grew up.

I have worked for many years in graphic design, following a HND course in the subject at Newcastle College of Arts and Technology. This course was the platform upon which the rest of my experience is built.

I have benefited from years of open air painting (En plein air painting), carried out (from the saddlebags of a bicycle), around Isel Hall and the River Derwent, culminating in an article for Cumbria Life Magazine. More recently, in March 2018, I was asked to paint a view of Maryport harbour from the same spot as the artist Percy Kelly painted for the BBC programme Countryfile, whilst discussing the work of this artist at the same time. Although brief - it was the ultimate tutoring experience.

I am Anette. I have many strings to my bow; I have a passion for everything to do with nature, wellbeing of the world's creatures and the holistic wellbeing of all humans. In the past I ran a café in a German tower, was proprietor of tree surgery and livery stable businesses, and was actively involved in an amateur theatre company. I have gained my teaching qualification specialising in Special Educational Needs. I teach a range of subjects from German, Horticulture, Art and Crafts and many more. I also run classes in Mindfulness for anyone who is seeking to find relaxation, meditation or stress release.

Hi, my name is Colin. After working in the insurance industry for 11 years I retrained as a teacher in Primary Education in 2010. After spending a year as a supply teacher across Greater Manchester, I decided to emigrate further north and move to Cumbria.  My first classroom teaching post was in a primary school in Whitehaven.  I've worked in primary, secondary and SEN schools across Cumbria as a supply teacher, cover supervisor and teaching assistant.  I later worked as a Market Intelligence Analyst at a local college and then as a Maths and English curriculum team leader and Hub Manager in a prison.  I now work as an Adult Learning Tutor, delivering Functional Skills English, GCSE English and various digital skills programmes across Allerdale and Copeland.  I enjoy working with adults from all backgrounds and try to keep my lessons informal, fun and somewhere people want to come and learn.

I have always enjoyed working with numbers since childhood. Prior to joining Adult Learning, I spent over 25 years working in an analytical / numerical capacity within the public sector. For the last six years I have returned to the education sector and now help learners overcome their fear of mathematics, develop their skills and supported their future career ambitions by delivering a range of mathematics courses in novel ways.

Arts and Crafts Tutor

I started painting flowers using watercolour in my late twenties. My enthusiasm grew and developed to include all plants, particularly in the outdoors.  I began teaching about 20 years ago after gaining a diploma from The Society of Botanical Artists. My passion is teaching beginners; encouraging people to have a go and enjoy their creativity.

Digital Skills Tutor

I have always enjoyed working with IT and problem solving. Prior to joining Adult Learning this Summer, I spent over 13 years working in a secondary school within the education sector. Prior to this, I trained as a teacher and worked in a Community Development Centre (CDC) gaining qualifications up to a Microsoft Office Specialist.  I passionately believe that every member of the community should be able to access digital skills and technology, whether that be for employment or just to gain confidence. Take a look at what there is on offer within Community Learning, you may well be surprised.

I'm Helen. I have over 25 years' experience and I have a passion for teaching. I gained my PGCE in languages and I am also a qualified ESOL/EFL teacher. I have taught in South America, the Middle East, North Africa and continental Europe, as well as in the UK.

I am Jennifer, I have delivered many IT courses over the last 18 years including Beginners/Basic IT, NVQ level II, ECDL and ITQ level 1 and 2. I have attained Microsoft Expert Status in the Office Suite. My courses are a great learning experience but also enjoyable.

Family Learning and Employability Tutor

I am a qualified Teacher with over 10 years' experience in Primary Education, I have taught in quite a few schools in Workington and Whitehaven.  My teaching style is to tailor my teaching to the different needs of the learners.  I incorporate my personality and interests into my teaching to develop the understanding of the learners.  I believe that you should have fun when you are learning, so I make my classes fun and interactive for everyone.

After a varied career ranging from cutting celery to driving armoured personnel carriers, I finally realised my dream to teach maths. Before joining the council I taught maths at secondary schools for 13 years. Now my days are filled with teaching and enjoying numbers with a wide range of learners supporting them to achieve entry level right through to GCSE maths.

I am Robin. I have been fascinated by languages from an early age so it was inevitable I'd end up living abroad at some point. Living in Spain for over ten years helped me understand how "real" Spanish is spoken and I bring that experience and knowledge into my classes now I'm back in Cumbria. People have different reasons for learning a new language - either for practical or professional reasons or just for the fun of it, but it´s always a rewarding process and I'm firmly of the opinion that anybody can do it. Age or lack of previous learning are never barriers.

Employability Tutor

For the past 16 years, I have been an Assessor, Trainer and Tutor in a variety of areas including Childcare, Adult Literacy, Employability, First Aid and Health and Safety. After 5 years running my own nursery, I decided to return full time to training and mentoring people, which is a role I find very rewarding. I look forward to supporting learners in their journeys soon.

Sophia has worked in the arts for over 30 years.  She worked at The Community Education Service in Bolton as a tutor in Art and Basic Skills. She taught at Wigan College of Technology as a Lecturer in Fashion Design with Technology.  Sophia spent over 20 years living in London working in Television, film, theatre, photography, live events, and launch's, enabling her to travel with her work all over the UK and beyond as Costumier, Make-Up Artist, Interior, Prop and Set Designer.  Her Credits include; Iconic British Film 'East is East', 'Britain's Next Top Model' Featuring Elle MacPherson, 'Food on 2' with Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey, 'The Handmaids Tale' at The English National Opera to name a few.

Sophia was also selected as a New Playwright by The Library Theatre in Manchester to write a piece about a factual news event. It was well received when performed at The Lowry Studio in Salford.  Sophia gained a PGC in Legal and Criminological Psychology, BA (HONS) Fashion Design & Technology and HND in Media and Performance.

She has lived in Cockermouth for ten years and has been working freelance as community artist along side other work.  At the beginning of the pandemic Sophia took the initiative to set up a community sewing group called 'Scrub Up' where she recruited and managed 32 volunteers to help her make scrubs for the NHS and all other care workers throughout Cumbria.


One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your learning queries.

01900 706023

Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm

Friday 9am to 4.30pm


We aim to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours (excluding weekends).

Adult Learning - Allerdale
Cumbria County Council
Workington Library
Vulcans Lane
CA14 2ND