Outstanding Individual Learner Award


2017 Regional Winner

Stephen was forced to cut his 22 year career short because of his ill-health. But his drive to keep working pushed him to find new skills and new meaning to his life.

In 2012, Stephen had to leave his job in the car manufacturing industry because of back and knee problems that required surgery. With the reality of the need for a new career sinking in, and being keen to seek opportunities, Stephen started to explore new avenues.

He came across the Learning Curve Group in Sunderland and soon signed up to their Level 1 Painting and Decorating course. Stephen enjoyed it so much, recognising the opportunities it opened for him, he returned soon after to take his level 2.

Stephen continued to show remarkable spirit, tenacity and resilience in overcoming the challenges he faced. After some setbacks, Stephen returned to the Learning Curve and took their Level 2 Joinery course.

The skills he learnt opened doors for him, including being able to do some small practical projects in the community, such as work at his local GP surgery.

“It is his determination to succeed in his studies while battling health issues that is without doubt his greatest and most impressive learning achievement,” said his nominator Gary.

“Having qualifications makes me feel confident to do much more than before. I am now able to have a go at different jobs in the house and carry out small jobs for friends and family,” said Stephen