"After working for the same company for 28 years, and aged 46, I was made redundant and came to New College Lanarkshire for a year to obtain some qualifications in order for me to secure new employment.
"Whist studying, I applied and was successful in getting a place on what was the Leonardo project and undertook a two-week mobility programme in Grenoble, France. The placement had such an impact on me I returned to College to further my education, firstly HNC, HND and then completed a degree programme the College runs in partnership with University of West of Scotland.
"After completing my degree, I secured a position within the Business Development Team at the same College working on Erasmus+ projects and was selected to be an accompanying adult taking a party of Business students to Grenoble. Later that year I went to Ireland with a party of students and this year I went to Lyon with the hospitality students. This was particularly challenging as it was eight students, four with special needs, but it was the most enjoyable experience. In this group in particular, it was the most rewarding seeing the students growing in confidence and undertaking new challenges.
"I am a massive supporter of this programme as for me, taking part in the project gave me the confidence to continue with my education, helped me overcome barriers that I faced and I remember fondly the people we met, the relationships formed and the new skills and knowledge gained. Also at the age of 49, the programme has led me to secure employment in a job that I love which is a massive career change as I previously worked in retail. Now at 52, as an accompanying adult, the experience was just as rewarding – seeing the students grow in confidence, tackling challenges and emerging as assertive adults was an immense pleasure to see."