[From L-R Greg Collins - Learn Direct Regional Award Winner, Craig Davies - Specialist Support Worker - Skills, Stephanie Newton - Specialist Support Worker - Skills, Christina Davies - Programme Coordinator - Skills]
A service user at one of our homeless centres in Cardiff has been crowned a regional winner in the Learndirect Inspiration Awards.
Greg Collins scooped the Inspiring Learner prize at an event in Birmingham after being nominated by his tutor Craig Davies at Ty Gobaith Lifehouse – which was itself crowned a Regional Centre of the Year.
After losing his job on the railway, Greg ended up becoming homeless and using drugs and alcohol. Following years of addiction and homelessness, Greg secured temporary accommodation and a place on the Bridge Programme (a substance misuse treatment and recovery programme) at Ty Gobaith. After settling in and beginning his recovery, Greg had a void to fill in his life and learndirect provided a meaningful use of his time.
At the point of receiving the award Greg had completed the Bridge Programme and has now secured his own accommodation.
Engaging with learndirect and completing English and maths learning, he has improved his confidence and continues to volunteer at the centre, working with kitchen staff. To date, Greg has completed over 250 hours of voluntary work through the in-house volunteer scheme as well as completing four courses through Agored Cymru.
His tutor Craig said: “To have achieved all this while addressing his own issues is an outstanding example of what people are capable of. Greg has stayed motivated, focused and has achieved all this while living in an environment that can be chaotic.”
Greg said: “When I came to Ty Gobaith I was in a bad place. The learndirect courses have helped me stay focused. I’m now looking forward to rebuilding my future. Doing these courses has given me the strength and confidence to look for other positive things to do with my time, which will give me a better chance at finding a job in the future.”
The learndirect Inspiration Awards celebrate incredible learners going the extra mile to develop their skills, as well as the businesses and learndirect centres and staff supporting them.
The nominees include learners who have overcome personal difficulties to learn and go on to find a job or move up in their career, as well as businesses who have thrived as a result of improving the skills and motivation of their workforce through learndirect.