Life throws up some challenging and indiscriminate blows at times and quite often these are faced by the most vulnerable in society.
Poor attainment at school, a troubled home life and low self-esteem are just three factors that can hold back educational and career progression.
Fortunately, pathways exist to help socially and economically disadvantaged people get back on track personally, academically and career-wise.
The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a qualification which helps people without traditional qualifications, such as ‘A’ levels, go on to University.
Access courses are available across a range of subjects including social studies, law, art, history and nursing, helping people to direct their field of study to a preferred career.
At Fircroft College we have some truly inspiring stories about how students have overcome serious personal challenges and turned their lives around by studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma.
One of those stories involves 37 year-old Louise Bradshaw from Birmingham, whose previous drug addiction prevented her from gaining a decent standard of education.
Determined to overcome her addiction, Louise enroled on to various short courses at Fircroft to build up her skills and took up a fixed voluntary nursing post at Edward Street Hospital in West Bromwich.
After finishing her voluntary contract, Louise made University her goal and enroled on to our Access to Higher Education Diploma in September 2012, despite having three young children to look after! After successfully completing the course, Louise went on to study Criminology at University and was recognised for her admirable efforts with a Helena Kennedy Foundation Award for overcoming obstacles to education.
Equally inspiring is Ann Wall’s story, who had very low self-esteem and confidence before she came to us a few years ago with an acute sense of failure. Owing to a dysfunctional home life, Ann had not achieved at school and embarked on a number of jobs that left her feeling unfulfilled.
After encountering the further stress of a marriage breakdown and severe depression, Ann realised life was passing her by and decided to embark on a journey with Fircroft that culminated in the Access to Higher Education Diploma. Despite feeling anxious and daunted during the early stages, Ann overcame these hurdles with the help of our support staff and went on to study at The University of Birmingham.
These are just two of the inspiring stories we have helped to create at Fircroft College of Adult Education and there are many more to read about.