Adult learning can turn your life around

Liz Collins

Islington Council’s Adult Community Learning service has helped many people to turn their lives around. It is never too late to learn something new and change your life in many ways.

One of these people is Liz Collins who grew up in care and had difficulties with education so she left school with very few qualifications. One day, she watched a TV programme about three people who hadn’t done well at school but had transformed their lives through adult education. Liz recognised herself in these people and it inspired her to look for local opportunities. She came across an Adult Social Care course offered by Islington’s Adult Community Learning service.

After just one day on the course Liz felt inspired and excited about what the course could lead to. She went on to complete all her modules and the course helped her to find a job as a support worker.

She said: “The first day I walked home from the course I remember feeling really excited about life and that it wasn’t too late for me. I have found myself. I am now a support worker and I have a sense of purpose.”

Liz’s progress was recognised by the Festival of Learning which is sponsored by City Lit, organised by the Learning and Work Institute and supported by the Department for Education. The Festival of Learning is an adult campaign which celebrates the power of learning to transform lives. Liz was the recipient of the Return to Learning award.

She said: “I never would have thought that at 55 I could win anything, let alone an award for learning! This has given me a lot of confidence and I feel really excited for the next stage in my life.”

Adult learners like Liz are living proof that learning doesn’t stop once you leave the school gates for the last time as a young person. Although it may feel a little daunting at first there is a strong support network to help everyone, regardless of age, ability or employment history to step back into the wonderful world of learning.

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