Laser Learning Awards (LASER) is an international awarding organisation regulated by Ofqual to offer qualifications.  LASER promotes widening participation, social inclusion, employer engagement and lifetime learning for all.  This Autumn, two adult learning students from PACA Adult Learning were shortlisted for its Outstanding Commitment to Study Access Prize and Lance Robinson has been announced as the runner-up, winning £100 towards his studies

Lance Robinson, former Access to University student

Lance Robinson’s childhood was a constant churn of foster homes, children’s homes and schools. This led to him having significant mental health troubles, manifesting in being quick to anger which led to a lot of violence.

“I had no role models or anybody that took me under their wing to help me progress. My education experience was fighting; I would fight the teachers both physically and mentally, in addition to this I would fight my fellow pupils and spent most of my class time being ignored. I had zero interest in learning academically” said Lance.

Sport gave him the opportunity to be successful and gave Lance purpose which over time kept him from going to prison.  As a teenager he started volunteering for Albion in the Community and is now studying to be a teacher of physical education at Chichester University.  Around 2500 students are entered into the Laser Learning Awards but Lance’s story resonated with the judges.  He will be presented with his prize by an MP in London next year.

Access Programme Leader Michelle Ponting said, “in terms of commitment to study Lance became one of the most determined and focused students I have ever had the pleasure to have in my tutor group. I am delighted that the Access course has helped Lance to achieve his academic potential. He has earned his place at university and I consider him to be an inspiration to others who may have experienced significant disadvantage.

Lance took the opportunity to both test and better himself and enrolled on the PACA Access course.  His aim was to build a new relationship with education and he’s done just that.  “I have never believed I would be capable of this, but I am moving forward now and want to seize this opportunity with both hands. There are hundreds of children in the care system with uncertain futures, I was lucky, and it is my aim to be a role model.”

Access courses are usually a year long and they are a pathway to degrees in social work, teaching, psychology, sociology, criminology, business and law.  Call 01273 422632 or email m.ponting@paca.uk.com to reserve a place at the next information session.

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