Published: February 27, 2023
Ashley first engaged with Access to Industry at a time when they were at a particularly low point following unemployment, related mental illness disorders, and alcohol dependency. In their own words, they were: “very isolated, with low mood and anxiety, feelings of despair and hopelessness, and chaotic drinking.”
They were actively looking for “structure and learning”, so with the help of a dedicated Caseworker, who supported them 1:1, they were enrolled onto various courses – Creative Writing; NPA Mental Health Award; Social Issues and Communication; and Stills Photography Course. With this support and gentle encouragement, Ashley felt able to “take on more and flourish as a result”.
Since engaging with Access to Industry, Ashley says: “I am much better physically and mentally”, reporting having “improved confidence, self-esteem and IT skills, and much reduced alcohol use” which has resulted in them “feeling connected again to other people and society.”
Most recently, Ashley has been volunteering with the University of Edinburgh’s Civic Engagement Team, recently writing this blog piece on the history of access to study at University and this piece on the friendship between poet Helen Cruikshank and folklorist F. Marian McNeill. Their hopes for the future are: “to be offered part time paid work with my university volunteering role, but I’m happy for now to continue to develop as a volunteer.”
More information on some of the Courses that Ashley completed can be found here.Back to Case Studies