Former addicts from Nottinghamshire now top-notch adult learners

Adult learner Louise Wightman, Councillor Sybil Fielding, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council, and Mick Hirst.
Adult learner Louise Wightman, Councillor Sybil Fielding, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council, and Mick Hirst.

Two former addicts from Nottinghamshire who turned their lives around celebrated their success last week at an awards ceremony for adult learners.

High achievers from Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Learning and Skills Service (CLaSS) attended the county hall to receive recognition for their hard work.

Amongst the high achievers were Mick Hirst and Louise Wightman, who both overcame addictions to begin their learning path.

Louise (35), from Mansfield, is a former heroin addict who left school without any qualifications.

She said: “I was in a living hell.

“I am very pleased how far I have come and the support I have had.”

Mick (52), from Worksop, is a former alcoholic.

He said: “I was determined that I had to change my life and I have been four years in recovery and it is going well.”

Councillor John Knight, Committee Chairman for Culture at Nottinghamshire County Council, said that their stories are examples of barriers that adult learners have to overcome.

He said: “Our celebration event gives us a chance to recognise outstanding achievements of adult learners.”

The service, which provides adult education courses for local residents, has also just received a ‘good’ Ofsted report.

The report praised the CLaSS team for its effectiveness on adult learners and outlined how the service operates across the county with a majority of the learners with low skills and qualifications from deprived areas of Nottinghamshire.

The family learning course was rated as ‘outstanding’ and both community learning and employability training were rated as ‘good’.

For more information about the service, visit www.nottsaclsmoodle.net.