A woman who was agoraphobic for 13 years can now enjoy days out with her family after taking part in an adult learning class.
Melanie Turner, 39, from Hull, was afraid of the outside world before plucking up the courage to join a literacy class with Hull City Council’s Adult Education.
She gradually worked her way through all the levels of the course and found her nerves began to get better every week.
She is now able to go out with her family, has lost six stone in weight and volunteers at Dove House Charity Shop as well as continuing to learn.
Mel said: “There is no stopping me now. I have gone from nothing to gaining a new life, all because I returned to learning.”
Her achievement was recognised with the Outstanding Individual Learner in Yorkshire and Humberside Award during Adult Learners’ Week in May 2011.
Mel now wants to help others and is volunteering in a class for adults with learning difficulties and disabilities as well as taking part in the Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector course.
Alan Tuckett, chief executive of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), said: “The stories of our award winners once again this year, the 20th Adult Learners’ Week, illustrate the overwhelmingly positive impact that learning has on people’s lives. The transformation that Mel has experienced is due to her dedication, persistence and ambition. I hope that adults across the country will be inspired by Mel’s story to take up learning and discover for themselves a whole new life.”