“Learning has given me a brighter future”
Former Royal Marine, Stuart Hughes, says that education helped him overcome his gambling problem, take control of his life and start a degree.
Stuart, from Gwernymynydd in Flintshire, struggled with gambling from the age of 18. He finished school with few qualifications and joined the Royal Marines, but left in 2006 unsure what to do next.
Gambling completely took over Stuart’s life and his relationship broke down. He found help in a supported living scheme run by Clwyd Alyn Housing Association and its ‘Opening Doors Enhancing Lives’ (ODEL) adult learning programme.
After completing the programme, Stuart was offered a job as a support worker with Clwyd Alyn and is now working part-time towards a degree through the Open University.
Getting back on track through adult learning
Stuart said: “Supported living was the first step in getting my life back on track, it provided me with a place to live and helped me with my gambling problem. Most importantly it introduced me to adult learning.
"I was out of education a long time and I’d lost confidence in my ability to learn. The ODEL adult learning programme showed me I could still learn new things and enjoy doing it.
"Now I’m working towards a degree, studying psychology and counselling, subjects I’m passionate about, part-time alongside my job. It will be worth all the hard work when I get my cap and gown.”
A bright future ahead
“If someone had told me five years ago I’d be doing a degree, and have a career I love, I never would have believed them.
"I’m now able to provide for my four-year-old son and make him proud.
"I’m grateful to have the opportunity to give something back. Through adult learning I’m happier, more confident and I can see a bright future ahead.”
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