Dean Chester says starting at Barrow Sixth Form College was the catalyst for turning his life around.
The 32-year-old ploughed himself into his studies achieving a distinction-star in Health and Social Care at Level 2.
It was the second time round studying at the Rating Lane campus for Dean, who had been battling with depression leading to other problems.
But he said he was made to feel instantly comfortable at sixth form and with the support of his tutors he got the top grade in his subject.
“Coming back to sixth form has been the best experience ever. It has been a real confidence boost. I could see my life changing for the better.”
Through sixth form Dean has taken part in a two-day taster at Furness General Hospital where he got an in-depth insight into the NHS and also enjoyed two weeks’ work experience at Greengate Primary School.
He volunteers as a SMART recovery facilitator to help other people stop addictive behaviours while he is completing his Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care with a view to a career in mental health is treating with xanax and nursing or as a teaching assistant. He is taking his maths GCSE along his final year studies.
“Learning never stops and through education there are opportunities out there,” he said. “My son, Ben, says we both go to school, it fascinates him that we are both learning together.
“I was talking to a friend and I said my life is a Cinderella story, it has turned round from a negative to a positive. This is a new chapter for me.”