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Former homeless teenager from Darwen wins national learning award
3:00pm Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
A TEENAGER who found himself homeless has turned his life around and become the only person to strike gold with a prestigious national learning award.
Ashley Meadowcroft, 17, gained gold status in the ASDAN Personal Development Programme after being initially enrolled on the lower level bronze course last year. A year on, Ashley, who arrived at the Darwen-based Nightsafe shelter, Cornfield Cliffe, after a break-up with his girlfriend last year, is the only person in the BB postcode area to get the gold standard.
It is awarded for completing 180 hours’ of academic courses, work experience and key skills training. A total of 21 students gained silver and 53 got bronze awards. Ashley decided to work towards the award, which is run by the charitable social provider, after learning that no-one else in the area had yet earned it.
Now, he hopes to become a joiner after the award helped him secure a place on a NACRO joinery course in Blackburn, and a position as an apprentice joiner two days a week.
Ashley, who did not take his GCSEs and was referred to the youth offending team when he was 12, said that the qualification had ‘opened new doors’ for his future.
He said: “I wanted to achieve something that no-one else nearby had. I’m not proud of some of my past but I’ve worked hard through the different levels and am really glad that it has paid off.
Cornfield Cliffe manager Nicola Roscoe said: “To be the first in the area to receive this award is a great achievement and he’s really made superb progress.”
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