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Personal Assistant to Sewing Sensation

Learning has no age limit and for Viola Lindsey from Castle Vale, that was certainly a motto she stood by which encouraged her to study Textiles and Fashion at South & City College Birmingham.

Viola was inspired to study fashion from her mum as she was a seamstress and the first person to teach her the basics of sewing. She used to make Viola’s clothes in designs that were floral, which she hated. This was ironic for her as the last theme on her course was floral, encouraging her to reflect on her mum’s designs.

Viola’s journey began in London as a personal assistant (PA) but she decided to move to Birmingham for her youngest child to have a better life experience. Amid her move, her partner had an accident and developed tetraplegia, caused by a spinal cord injury. She wanted to find something to do and considered sewing. She started the moving forward course and her new journey continued.

Viola made a friend who was enrolling at South & City College Birmingham. She chose to follow in her footsteps as she trusted her decision. This step was one of the greatest decisions she made, she says:

‘’Everyone here has time for you. I’ve realised that whilst we’re studying as students, the teachers have got to do everything behind the scenes. They are stressed and never show you. They never tell you to go away or try to think for yourself. They always try to help you and I love that about them, and they are the reason I’m not going to give up on the classes.’’

She started this course as a hobby because she was determined to sew for herself and construct her own clothing. Since the course, she has started making things for her sister and she appreciates the beauty of creating from scratch. Viola also explains:

‘’Carmen (Fashion & Textiles Lecturer) taught us that with sense that you can have something that you really like, you know and just because it doesn’t fit you anymore, doesn’t mean that it’s not fit for purpose. Give it to me, I’ll find a panel, a bit of material that matches and just alter it. You can keep it for 50 years and another 50 years.’’

Viola highlights that coming to South & City College was the right decision for herself and is the right decision for future students. She says ‘’the people are friendly, you are made to feel comfortable, and the resources are great. You won’t have to worry about money as you can apply for a loan and there’s so many good things, such as the canteens. If you are 16-18, you are entitled to free breakfast, and they do give to the adults as well before a certain time. It is a great place to study!’’

Lecturers were so impressed with her work and dedication; they encouraged her to come back and teach once she’s finished her Level 4 in Fashion & Textiles. Viola believed she received something from South & City College Birmingham and would like to give back, so this is something she’d consider. The college wish her all the success in the completion of her course and hope to welcome her again as a staff member.

If you are interested in studying Fashion & Textiles, why not look at our Fashion Courses Birmingham | South & City College ( You can visit our Digbeth campus on Thursday 29th September for our next college Open Day. To find out more information, visit our website.