AFTER nine years of being unable to work due to poor health Rose Lloyd decided it was time for change and that’s when she enrolled on a Visual Art & Design course at Stockport College.

Now, the 57-year-old grandmother has put her newly acquired skills to full use and has started up in business as a freelance illustrator.

“From a very young age I was interested in art” said Rose, “but my parents were of the opinion that you couldn’t make any money doing art, so it was something I never pursued.

“I worked for some time doing technical drawings but this never enabled me to use the creativity that I wanted to. I hadn’t been able to work for almost ten years because of a severe back problem I have, but I knew that I needed to have something more in my life so I took up painting. I enrolled on a foundation course and then decided to continue on to do my degree.”

Since setting up in business Rose has already completed work for Manchester’s BBC Philharmonic and has had her illustrations in the Nursing Standard, the Radio Times and the Times Educational Supplement.

She continued: “It’s a great feeling to see my work in publications, I am so proud of what I have achieved and I really feel as though my life has changed for the better.”

Rose came along to Train 2000 for help and support in starting up her business. She accessed free support through the ISUS (Intensive Start-Up Support) programme and worked on a one-to-one basis with an adviser to develop her marketing and business plans. All services provided through Train 2000 are offered free to women throughout the Merseyside and Greater Manchester areas.

Train 2000 was very good” said Rose, “I worked with an adviser who made me really think about some of the areas I hadn’t even considered such as tax and keeping financial records; they’re the thing people don’t really like to think about.”

Rose, who has grown up daughters and young grandchildren, has her own studio at Vernon Mill in Stockport which provides her with the space to create her illustrations.

She added: “It’s great to be able to work after so many years of being unable to. Because of the nature of my business I can manage it round my back pain.

“This is the best thing I have done for years and it has really helped to improve my self esteem.”

To find out more about the work undertaken by Rose visit or email

And, if you would like to find out more about the FREE services offered by Train 2000 to women in the Merseyside and Greater Manchester areas please visit or call 0151 236 6601.