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Adult education success stories

These adult education success stories are heart warming and show real achievements. We hope they'll inspire you just as much as they've inspired us.

Our amazing learners have used our courses to:

  • help themselves
  • catch up on missed education
  • get over past learning struggles

So, what will your success story be? Begin your learning journey today!

Jason Lloyd

Brightside course helps develop confidence

Jason found out about Brightside whilst studying maths and English. Jason has anxiety and, at that point, wasn’t working because of it.

While studying with DACES, a careers advisor recommended Jason participate in a Brightside course.

Our Brightside courses are available for anyone experiencing mental health difficulties.

On the Brightside course, Jason says:

“ I felt really reassured by the staff. They made him feel very welcome and boosted his confidence.”

Staff noticed how much Jason supported his classmates and encouraged him to take steps to become a learning support assistant.

To get experience, Jason volunteered as a digital champion with PC refurb in Glossop. Through this, he helped people get online and found this work rewarding.

Jason was then able to apply for a job with us as a learning support assistant, and he now helps learners at The Toolbox learn skills such as plastering. He thinks his experience enables him to help others experiencing anxiety, and he understands how he can best support them.

Jason says:

“Brightside is better than anything you get off the doctor. The staff were really encouraging.”

He still experiences anxiety but has built resilience and now has more tools to deal with it.

The Brightside course was the start of all this, and Jason says he wishes he’d done it years ago.

Plastering skills help victims of domestic abuse

Learning plastering skills with Derbyshire Adult Community Education Service has opened opportunities for Naima Red Ben-Moussa to set up a business, help victims of abuse and gain national recognition.

ou might have seen or heard about Naima on the Jeremy Vine show, on BBC News or in the Daily Mail for her work repairing houses for free where walls have been destroyed by domestic abusers. Naima has raised £60,000 through a crowd funding campaign to fund materials and is now able to employ others.

The 36-year-old grew up in Devon but moved to Buxton after being the victim of rape aged 17.

Naima studied plastering with Clifford Rodgers at Holmewood. Despite battling mental health challenges, she successfully completed the plastering qualification and set up her business, Lady in Red Plastering.

Following national publicity, her crowd funding campaign was really boosted. Naima has also had offers of help from web designers and other tradespeople wanting to support her in the work she is doing to support domestic abuse victims.

DACES is working with Naima to find ways for their current learners to support her work and progress to achieving their own qualifications.

If you are interested in learning more about this campaign, visit the Lady in Red Plasterer on Facebook.

Overcoming ill health with creativity

Jill, from Bolsover, started learning with DACES (Derbyshire Adult Community Education Service) aged 52. Following inspiration from her tutors with, Jill enrolled on a Fine Art course at Sheffield Hallam University, gaining a first-class degree with honours and receiving their Student of the Year award.

When Jill started with DACES, she was experiencing post-viral long-term health problems, which led to her needing to be in bed most of the time. She still experiences fatigue but finds that art and study have been a release from her health problems.

Jill started with DACES taking part in community learning tasters and longer courses before moving on to City & Guilds qualifications in Printmaking.

She credits DACES tutors with seeing her potential to achieve more, which has turned out to be true!

Jill said:

"Taking part in creative courses has been the best experience of my life. It has substantiated my life. It has given me a world I belong to, my tribe."

After completing her degree last year, she returned to DACES to continue developing her creative skills by taking part in pottery and photography.

Whilst Jill was studying at university, her mum was extremely ill and sadly passed away in September. Studying and taking part in creativity provided a way for Jill to take her mind away from her mum's long-term illness.

Jill is hoping to go on to do a Master's Degree in the future but is currently taking a break from higher education learning.

Whilst taking part in her current community learning courses, she is volunteering at Museum Sheffield and Arts Derbyshire. She hopes to use skills she's learned with DACES to make story sacks for families to support children through grief.

Jill has always been interested in creative activities such as knitting, sewing and baking but believes that creativity could still be for you even if you haven't tried these sorts of activities in the past. Jill says:

"If anyone thinks they have barriers to learning, don't let that stop you."

The staff at DACES and Sheffield Hallam have supplied the support that Jill needed to change her life.

Jill says:

"Life, skill and opportunity meet at Shirebrook Adult Community Education Centre."