Lesley Reece

2016 - Regional Winner

Outstanding Individual Learner

Lesley suffered with agoraphobia and did not leave her house alone for four years.

Her daughter encouraged Lesley to attend her first jewellery-making course. Lesley was apprehensive, but found that she loved the course and signed up for a pottery course soon after. Lesley’s confidence grew and she wanted to do more.

It took a lot of courage to sign up to do maths and English as this meant she would have to travel on her own, but “something clicked” in her and she couldn’t wait to go back.

Lesley soon discovered a love of English. She now writes poetry that has been published.

Since March 2015, Lesley has achieved in many courses at Oldham Lifelong Learning Service, including creative arts and crafts, mental health awareness and has committed to achieve her English GCSE next year.

Lesley is now a volunteer at the ‘Inspire Women’ project in Oldham where women gain confidence and rediscover who they are. Lesley uses her newly gained skills to support other women who may have been in similar situations to herself.

Carol, Lesley’s nominator, said “Learning has had a positive, life-changing effect on Lesley’s health and wellbeing, to the extent that she is looking forward to returning to a career of working with children with special needs.”

Lesley said “I have never believed in myself before. The change in me has been massive and my confidence has grown. I now feel that I can begin to look forward to a brighter future.”