Margaret Isherwood – now 94 and still learning – collected the award in London as part of the celebrations surrounding Adult Learners’ Week.
“All I want for the future is just to keep doing what I am doing and to keep my good health,” said Margaret, from Fairfield in Warrington.
At the age of 82 Margaret began a Holistic Therapies course with Priestley College and enjoyed it so much she continued learning.
When she developed breathing problems and discovered that Reiki treatment helped, she began a diploma covering all she needed to know about the healing techniques.
That led to more studies as she chalked up qualifications in Crystal Healing, Aromatherapy, Indian Head Massage, Reflexology, Holistic Facials and Hopi Ear Candles.
There was no stopping Margaret and she continued learning with Hot Stone Therapy and Advanced Aromatherapy, topping it off with a Holistics Degree at Halton College and Salford University.
Now she volunteers in various community groups and happily shares her skills in holistic therapies with others.
She runs well-being older peoples’ groups, teaches the art of massage to NHS staff at nursing homes and offers holistic skills to various charities.
Wishing to keep in touch with her family more easily, Margaret returned to Priestley College in 2012, undertaking an Older and Bolder computer course where she learned about email and Facebook.
David Hughes, NIACE Chief Executive, said: “Each and every year during Adult Learners’ Week we are reminded, by all the award winners’ stories, just how much people can improve their lives through learning.
“It helps them become more involved in their communities and often gives them a brighter future to look forward to. I hope their dedication, enthusiasm and desire for a better life inspires others to take up learning and transform their own lives as well.”
Glennis Hassall, Adult Education Curriculum Manager at Priestley College, said: “Margaret is an incredible example of what can be achieved whatever your age.
“What is particularly impressive is how driven she has been in taking on these new qualifications and given so much back to the community around Warrington.”