Kevin recognised for overcoming his challenges

Kevin at the awards ceremony at Knebworth House
Kevin at the awards ceremony at Knebworth House

A Hemel Hempstead man’s efforts in overcoming adversity and gaining important qualifications have been recognised at the Hertfordshire Adult Learner Awards.

Kevin Palmer was presented with the Overcoming Challenges award at a ceremony at Knebworth House, held as part of the national Festival of learning during May and June.

Kevin always struggled at school, and was never confident in communicating.

It wasn’t until mid-life that it transpired Kevin’s difficulties were down to undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome.

Kevin left school with no qualifications and was scared to write, still daunted by his experiences at school.

But he plucked up the courage to go back to the classroom and has been attending drama workshops run by arts participation organisation Zinc, funded by Hert County Council’s Adult and Family Learning Service (HAFLS).

Now aged 48, he has also managed to gained five GCSEs, including an A in science.

With his new-found confidence, he embarked on creative writing and began to write his own script. He has also learned how to communicate more effectively with others.

Cabinet Member for Public Health, Teresa Heritage, said: “I was delighted to meet Kevin at the awards. He is an inspiration to us all in his determination to learn new skills and face his fears.

“Courses like this help thousands of people in Hertfordshire overcome their problems with confidence and communication and learn skills that both boost employability and help them to enhance their role in society.”

See www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/hafls