Outstanding Individual Learner Award

Lee Hughes

2015 National Winner

Lee left school with no qualifications and battled his addiction to drugs. However he returned to learning, studying for an Access to HE Diploma at Northern College and is now reading modern history at Sheffield Hallam University. He has also just discovered that he has been successful in securing a second year placement with a local MP.

Public speaking did not come naturally to Lee, but the confidence learning has given him has allowed him to step out of his comfort zone in an attempt, in his words, to ‘pay something back’ for what he has received. In March this year, he was the star speaker at the CoLRiC Beacon Award Presentation and he has also helped to represent the cause of adult learning at a parliamentary reception at the House of Commons.

On a personal level, participating in adult education gave Lee a renewed sense of what he can achieve and he is now an inspiration to others.

Jayne Hawley, Lee’s nominator and Vice Principal of Northern College, said: “As a College, we are exceptionally proud of Lee’s achievements. It has been a privilege to play a part in his transformation and see him develop into a confident, reflective, healthy and articulate young man with a bright future ahead of him.

Lee said: “I stumbled into adult learning by accident, but I’d scream it from the rooftops if I thought I could get one person like me to go through the doors and back into education.”