South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.
Higher, Professional, Technical.
Outstanding by standing out



Ambitious ex-student sees hard work rewarded

An ambitions ex-student from SGS College has won the regional final of the VQ (Vocational Qualification) Learner of the Year Awards 2014.

The South West winner won the regional heat after starting her own company which helps people via complementary therapies that have suffered trauma or injury in the armed forces. She then started another organisation with affordable beauty treatments for all.

Zoe Warner aged 42 from Stroud, started a VTCT Level 3 Diploma in Complementary Therapies back in September 2010, completing in July 2011.  The mother of six had experienced massage and reflexology treatments previously and knew how much complementary therapies helped people. She wanted to be able to give something to other people that would help them. She also wanted to start a company that would allow everyone to be able to access therapies by making them not just a luxury, but an essential entitlement that everyone should be able to enjoy and afford.

Therefore Zoe started her own company as soon as she completed her course back in 2011. This non-profit making organisation, offers therapies for service men and women that have been physically or mentally injured or suffered trauma. Since it started locally it has now been rolled out throughout the UK. This is close to Zoe’s heart as she looks after her husband who suffered trauma in the forces and requires a lot of her care.

Following the Complementary Therapies course Zoe then went on to complete beauty therapy, crystal therapy and sports massage programmes at SGS College to develop her skills and knowledge. Since this Zoe has now launched another business, Vanilla Moon, which in addition to a traditional salon also provides ‘pop-up spas’ across the country. This has proved very successful and she has over 50 therapists working for her.

The VQ awards recognise learners who clearly demonstrate progression and excellence in vocational studies; learners who have made considerable achievements in their field. Now the regional winners in the English categories will be invited to attend the England VQ event in London on Tuesday 3rd June 2014, where England’s national winner will be announced.

Zoe comments: “Wow. This is very exciting thank you so much SGS College; for entering me and for teaching me complementary therapies so well.”

This year Zoe has been competing in the national BABTAC ‘Holistic Therapist of the Year Awards’ demonstrating that she continues to develop and maintain the skills and knowledge she learned when studying at SGS College. Here Zoe has been selected as one of the five finalists. Additionally she was also a finalist for the Gloucestershire ‘Women in Business ‘award in 2013 and has again been nominated this year.

Emma Stanton, Zoe’s Tutor commented: “I am thrilled that Zoe has been recognised for her outstanding achievements since qualifying as a complementary therapist at SGS College. She was an excellent student with a passion for therapies and the ambition to succeed in industry.”