Follow your dreams because we can all achieve something special

I was born with a rare body condition called Hemihypertrophy, which means the left-hand side of my body is bigger than the right. I have joint problems so if I walk for a significant amount of time I have pain in my joints. I also have learning difficulties; struggling to pronounce words that are difficult,…

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My history of apprenticeships – National Apprenticeships Week 2018

My early years were far from ideal – my father died after a long illness whilst I was just entering my teenage years. I never finished school and I entered the big wide world with no academic qualifications at all. Things seemed to go from bad to worse and after seven years in an abusive…

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My BEM is a reminder that I have benefited from the power of learning

Frank Harris began his adult learning journey having spent 35 years in and out of prison, battling addiction and intermittent homelessness. In only four years he quit drugs, gained GCSEs, and started training in counselling to support vulnerable people. After leaving prison, Frank joined the European Social Fund (ESF) Move Project at City Lit, which…

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CJ is proof that anyone can make a change

Our Festival of Learning partner, Hotcourses have featured an interview with 2017 Social Impact Award Winner, CJ Burge to learn more about her experience with adult education. CJ Burge has come on leaps and bounds following a stint in prison abroad at a young age. Education essentially became her lifeline and now she’s on course…

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Amanda’s passion is for the difference learning can make

On 21 November, I went to Brighton Town Hall to see Amanda Scales, (Learning and Work Institute learning ambassador and 2012 Outstanding Individual Award winner for the South-East region), receive her BEM from the Lord Lieutenant of Sussex. The British Empire Medal was given for ‘services to adult learning’ and the citation highlighted how Amanda…

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I want to be an inspiration to disability students

Since I was a little girl I’ve always wanted to make a difference and teach people with how people see an open choice to things. I was bullied everyday throughout school, as I have a rare condition that I was born with that makes me a unique woman, so when I was growing up I…

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Education moves you forward – Care Leavers Week special blog

My name is Habib Rezaie. I came to the UK from Afghanistan in 2006 at the age of 16, as an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child. At age 12 I lost both of my parents and went through some harsh and horrifying experiences. Being raised without them was difficult and sad especially in a country like Afghanistan,…

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The benefits of adult learning

By Mark Malcomson CBE, Principal and CEO at City Lit At City Lit, our guiding philosophy has not changed since our foundation nearly a century ago: we believe all Londoners should have a right to learn and improve. Tens of thousands of Londoners of varying ages, backgrounds and ability levels study with us each year,…

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Festival of Learning is needed now as much as ever

Adult Learners’ Week (now Festival of Learning) is built upon two simple propositions – first, that celebrating adult learners in all their diversity will encourage others to join in. And second, politicians and decision makers will better recognise that adult learning has a positive contribution to make across the range of social policy through the…

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Adult learning helped me change the lives of others

My name is Amy King and I won Young Adult Learner of the Year in 2014. I was nominated by my college London and South-East Colleges (LSEC), formerly known as Bromley College. I studied with them for my A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics in 2011-2013. My life has completely changed since winning Young Adult…

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