About us

Baroness Sheila Hollins

The first fellowship was awarded to Baroness Sheila Hollins (pictured right receiving her Fellowship from Dame Moira Gibb), who has made an outstanding contribution to education for adults with learning disabilities in the UK and overseas.  Sheila established and leads the ground-breaking social enterprise Beyond Words, which produces books and learning resources for people with communication difficulties who find it easier to understand pictures than words.

A Professor of the Psychiatry of learning disability at St George's, University of London, Baroness Hollins became a crossbench life peer in the House of Lords in 2010.  She was President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists from 2005 to 2008.  She is a former President of the British Medical Association and is currently Chair of the BMA Board of Science.  In 2014, Pope Francis appointed her a member of the newly created Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. 

The growing partnership between Beyond Words and City Lit has also provided huge inspiration for our teachers and students involved.