A volunteer for the South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust – who combines full time work with studying and volunteering – has won a prestigious national Adult Learners award.
Trevor Mashangwa from Lupset, Wakefield who works for a security company, beat off competition from 649 entrants win the ‘Learning Works’ award. The awards are organised by NIACE (the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education) as part of Adult Learners Week 2006 (20-26 May).
As well as working night-shifts for a security company, Trevor studies for an ‘Access to Nursing’ qualification at Wakefield College during the day and volunteers at the Sycamores CUE, Ossett – a unit which cares for people with dementia. Trevor finishes his course in June and hopes to start a Mental Health Nursing degree in September.
Trevor says, "I feel happy to be recognised in this way – words can’t describe it! I didn’t think anyone noticed what I was doing and it’s nice to know people are noticing. Thanks to everyone who has given me support – my personal tutor, my family and friends. I won’t let anyone down and I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing – helping people with mental health problems."
Trevor first came to Wakefield from his native Zimbabwe in 2003 with his wife and five children. Trevor explains, "I decided I wanted to improve myself and get an education – education guarantees a job. I was interested in mental health because my grandfather had dementia and I found out that I could do an access course which would prepare me for university and let me fulfil my ambition to become a mental health nurse."
Trevor continues, "It is quite demanding working full time with my voluntary work and college work. My five kids keep me busy too – I never have time to sleep!"
Trevor will receive his well-deserved award at a glittering ceremony at Cabot Hall, Canary Wharf, London on 25th May, which will be hosted by BBC newscaster Dermot Murnaghan. Trevor has also been invited to have breakfast with the Minister for Education on the day of the awards.