Hard-working students who have given up their time to improve their lives were recognised at the third Wiltshire Adult Learner Awards.

The awards, run by Wiltshire College and sponsored by Wiltshire Council as well as the Gazette & Herald, are aimed at applauding adult students who study to better themselves at work, make themselves more employable or just change the quality of their lives.

Principal Di Dale said the inspirational stories of those who won the awards are heartwarming. “It is so good to hear them,” she told the audience at The Arc Theatre in Trowbridge on Thursday.

“It is not just those who do the studying who deserve the praise, but the families and friends who support them too.”

Among the winners were to Fabio Barata and Michael Skuse of Calne, who are apprentices at RWE IT UK in Swindon.

The pair won the Adult Work Based Learner of the Year Award after embarking on a foundation degree in computing.

Bosses nominated them for the way they have committed to developing their technical skills. Both of them won full-time jobs at RWE after finsishing their apprenticeship.

Aldbourne Youth Council’s CAN project won the The Inspiring Learning Project Award.

The council converted the village’s disused toilets into an internet cafe. Initially it was for youngsters to surf the web and play games but in the last year it has worked with Wiltshire College to provide IT training and is encouraging older people from the area to come and learn about e-mail and the internet.

Other award winners: Higher Education Learner of the Year: Sarah Smith; Trainer of the Year: Helen Morgan; Inspiring Others to Learn Award: Trish Nicholls; Enterprise Learning Award: Monica Symonds and Nicholas Harbron: the Skills for Life Learner Award: Claire Silk; Wiltshire Adult Learner of the Year: Claire Silk.