A man who left school with no GCSEs is sending a message to youngsters after launching his own online fitness service.

Toby Bradley from Blackburn, had a negative outlook on education from a very young age, but after overcoming confidence issues and returning to studying in his 20s, he realised there's no age limit to further learning, and youngsters should not be put off because of past experiences.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The 29-year-old said he wants teenagers who may find themselves in a similar position to know there are options available for them should they choose to return to studying later in life.

"You are never too old to return to education," he said, "during high school, I didn’t have a very good experience and left midway through my final year with no qualifications.

"I completely lost interest in learning.

"Looking back, my negative outlook resulted in never making my studies a priority and I blamed myself for not trying harder."

The harsh reality of many employers looking for qualifications meant Toby felt he needed to return to education in order to progress his career.

And after a few years break he began studying an adult course in fitness instructing, followed by an NVQ Level 2 in English, maths and customer service.

In 2015 he enrolled on a distance learning course at Arden University in Coventry to study business management and accounting, before going on to the second stage of his degree where he studied finance management.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Toby said: “I knew a business management degree would help me with starting my own fitness business.

"It was something I had thought about starting in 2014 and would regularly discuss this end-goal with my friend and now business partner, Simon.

"Back then we didn’t know how to materialise our ideas – however, with my university degree under my belt, we are now able to successfully run our fitness business.

"Distance learning is a great way to study if you’re looking for flexibility.

Lancashire Telegraph:

"It was challenging to balance a full-time job with my degree but once I was in a routine, it was much easier to manage everything.

"The degree itself looks great on my CV and gives me that added confidence to believe in myself as being able to achieve a degree despite not having GCSE’s or A-Levels has given me a real boost.

"I’m looking forward to growing my business into a successful franchise and I’m also planning on starting my GCSE’s later this year."

Toby's business - Diamond & Bradley. Strength. Counselling. Nutrition. is operated online and can be found by visiting Facebook @diamondandbradley