Return to Learning Award

Liz Collins

2020 National Winner

Liz’s experience of education as a child was traumatic, but she took a leap of faith and enrolled on an Introduction to Adult Social Care course with Islington Adult Community Learning. Returning to learning has had a profound impact on Liz, her family and those she now cares for in her role as a support worker. 

I grew up in care and did terribly at school. Life wasn’t great after that either. I got married, had children – I’m very proud of them – but it was a damaging marriage. Fast forward 25 years and I’m watching a programme about three people who hadn’t done well at school and I saw myself in one of the women. I saw her life had been transformed by education, so I paused the programme and typed ‘adult learning in Islington’ into my iPad and found the Introduction to Adult Social Care course.

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.

I’m now doing my Care Certificate as well as training in equality and diversity, medication, first aid, and manual handling. These all have assessments and tests and I’m doing them with confidence that I’m going to pass, which I would never have felt before.

When people say “what do you do?”, I can say “I’m a support worker. I work with adults with high complex needs in a residential care home and I absolutely love it!”

Colin Gardiner, Lead Tutor (Vocational and Employability Skills) at Islington Adult  Community Learning said, “Liz has blossomed. Her life has purpose and she is embarking on a rewarding career made possible by taking a course in adult social care.”