A local lady is soon set to star in an art exhibition at the College of North East London (CONEL) after picking up a paintbrush for the first time at the age of 96!

Nelly Erwood, from Upper Tollington Park Road in Tottenham, took a course of weekly painting lessons recently at the Osbourne Centre - which is conveniently just across the road from her home.

This is just one of the activities delivered by CONEL's Outreach programme that bring joy to people of all ages and abilities across the borough by running courses in community venues for those that cannot make it to the College. "I just loved it," says Nelly who celebrates her birthday in June. "I had only ever used a paintbrush before to decorate the house! But Hermione, my teacher, had the patience of Job. She helped me so much."

Nelly progressed in leaps and bounds, and has come a long way from her first attempt with watercolours (pictured). She has since created stunning still life pictures of flowers that will form the centrepiece of a multi media art exhibition in the College's reception from 20 - 27 May (this will be taken down at 12 noon on 27 May). This will feature work by Outreach students from all over Haringey and is part of a range of events celebrating Adult Learners Week 2005.

Contributing artists will also be on hand to discuss their work at a special 'meet the artists' session on Wednesday 25 May from 1pm - 3:30pm. And for those of you that fancy something a little more energetic, why not join in with free yoga lessons planned from 3pm - 5pm on the same afternoon. After all, Nelly is living proof that you are never too old to try something new!

Notes for editors:

1) For more details on the art exhibition and yoga planned as part of Adult Learners Week please call Rachel Johnson on 020 8442 3563.
2) Please also contact Rachel on 020 8442 3563 if you would like more information on CONEL's Outreach Programme.
3) Photo caption: Nelly pictured with her first attempt at watercolour.