Cymoedd learner follows her passion

Cymoedd learner Adele Elliott has always had an interest in holistic therapies but working full time and raising a family took priority. After 20 years, in the corporate world, the mother of two from Treorchy decided it was time for her to follow her passion.

Whilst working full time in an office job, she attended an Open Event at the college to find out if her dream job could become a reality. Adele discussed with the tutors her options of studying part time evening courses and her career pathway, on completion of the qualifications.

Impressed with the facilities at the college and the experience of the staff, many who have worked in the sector and owned their own business, Adele enrolled on the VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Reflexology.

She knew that returning to study at 43, whilst working full-time with a family to care for, was going to be a challenge but Adele’s passion helped her through it. She found the one year course, studied over two nights a week interesting as it included all aspects of holistic therapies including Reflexology, Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology.

Adele gained her Level 3 Diploma in June 2019 and is now the proud owner of Cariad Holistic Therapies, based in Treorchy, Rhondda. 

Speaking about her studies Adele said “Coleg y Cymoedd is a fantastic college with amazing tutors. They were so patient and adapted to my individual needs. I am so grateful for my training and I am now following my passion of running my own business as a Reflexologist. It’s never too late to start something new”.

Congratulating Adele on her new venture Course Tutor, Hayley Hunt said “Returning to study after being away from education for some years is never easy, especially when you are juggling full time work and a family. But Adele’s motivation and commitment to achieve her dream of owning her own business was evident during the course. The college is delighted to see her new business, ‘Cariad Holistic Therapies’ and we wish her well for the future. She is an inspiration and proof that if you believe in yourself you can achieve your goal”.

Rugby player turned coffee entrepreneur spills the beans on Rhondda café grand opening

A Cardiff Rugby player has swapped mauls for macchiatos for a day to celebrate the opening of a new café at his former college.

Dillon Lewis, who co-owns speciality coffee shop Fat Dragon Coffee with Cardiff teammate Brad Thyer, will be supplying coffee beans and ground coffee to the brand new Caffi Blodyn Haul on Coleg y Cymoedd’s Rhondda campus.

The Church Village born player was a member of the elite Cardiff Blues Academy at Coleg y Cymoedd from 2012 to 2014 while studying at the college, and the prop has since become an integral fixture for Cardiff and Wales.

On Wednesday, Dillon returned to his roots to show his support for Coleg y Cymoedd’s community of staff and learners with the opening of the brand new         Independent Living Skills (ILS) Coffee Shop.

Dillon said: “Going back to my old college to do my part in getting the new coffee shop up and running is such a rewarding experience.

“My sister has additional learning needs and I know first-hand the challenges learners like her face on a day to day basis. Contributing towards creating a learning environment at Coleg y Cymoedd where learners with additional learning needs can develop their skills and grow their confidence is very near and dear to my heart.”

Dedicated to improving learning provisions for its vocational learners, the café will see learners across the campus take part in running the shop, from serving drinks to selling baked goods freshly made by members of Coleg y Cymoedd’s catering course every weekday from 10 am to 2 pm.

In a collaborative effort with Welsh Government and Colegau Cymru in reshaping the curriculum for learners with Additional Learning Needs, the new space is part of the college’s wider goal to provide a more practical learning experience that readies learners for the world of work and independent living.

Al Lewis, Head of School for Vocational Access at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “Dillon is a great example of a learner who has gone on to achieve so much after college. He’s been a long-time supporter of the college and has always remained a prominent figure in our community.

“We’re excited to have Dillon’s support for the new café and our wider efforts to improve learning experiences at the college for learners present and future. We can’t wait to welcome learners and staff across the college as well as members of the public to the new café”.


Wellington Street
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF44 8EN


Heol y Coleg
Parc Nantgarw
CF15 7QY


Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF40 2TQ

Ystrad Mynach

Twyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
CF82 7XR

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