Providing Transportation to Life-Changing Classes

As a young person with an elite swimming background, including competing for Team Great Britain as a paralympian swimmer, Janice Tillett dreamed of becoming a swimming teacher. However, she lives with a genetic sight-limiting condition, which means that, as a young adult, her sight deteriorated to where she was registered blind. Combined with limited hearing and additional disabilities, this meant Janice was unable to fulfil this particular teaching dream. 

Still determined to find a way to teach exercise, Janice identified the Level 2 Sit and Stay Fit Chair-Based Teaching Certificate at St Crispin’s Community Centre in Northampton—a movement-to-music-based course that focuses on keeping people active whilst living with mobility issues and as they age. A significant challenge to participation was access to transport. With her local community transport service prioritising group shopping trips over “single” trips, Janice has to rely on taxis, which are not cost effective. 

To overcome this barrier, Janice applied for and received a Learner Grant. It made it possible for her to attend the course in person, where she realised she could succeed despite her lack of sight, her hearing loss, and the chronic pain with which she lives. 

Janice now plans to build on her teaching skills and practice; role-model how inclusive learning can support every learner to achieve their personal goals; and source opportunities where she can co-teach chair-based exercise to people who have similar needs to her own. This will enable her to use her lived experience to inspire others to follow their aspirations.

We shouldn’t be in a world where we are told ‘no’—if anyone has the capability and reasonable adjustments are made, [opportunity] should be made possible for all.

— Janice Tillett

Find out more about our Learner Grants here.