A local student, who was homeless for nine years is on course for a first class degree and has just landed a job as a graphic designer for an international sports company.
Ash Allwood is a high achieving student and budding entrepreneur studying a BA in Art and Design at Sussex Coast College Hastings.
After overcoming a difficult few years he says that studying locally has helped him to get back on track with his life.
“I left school at 16 and was homeless until I was 25. It’s fair to say that life didn’t quite start as I was expecting. I spent years travelling around Brighton living out of a bag and only ever taking what I could carry.”
“I didn’t have much and could only ever afford one or two nights in a hostel. There was one occasion where I took shelter under a boat. Eventually I got to a point where I didn’t enjoy being in that situation anymore so had to do something about it.”
Ash was living in a garage in Brighton when he finally made the decision to move back to Hastings and put himself on an Art and Design BTEC at Sussex Coast College Hastings. He passed the course with seven A grades and achieved ‘Student of the Year’ in 2013.
“I chose to study at Sussex Coast because Hastings was my hometown. I knew the area pretty well and knew that it wouldn’t be too hard to get myself back on my feet there.”
“The college has some great facilities including its own dedicated floor for Art. The town has a great reputation for creativity as well, and I also knew that if I applied myself and worked hard, that the college tutors would be really receptive and would be able to guide me in the right direction.”
The following year he was accepted by the University of Brighton to study an FdA in Graphic Communication at the college and finished the course achieving a Merit grade. He’s continued with his studies at the college and has now progressed on to a BA in Art and Design. With average marks of around 80% he is set to qualify with a predicted first class degree.
“Studying both degree courses at the college has definitely benefited me. The quality of teaching is a consistent theme throughout the college, from vocational and A-Level up to Degree level. The tutors have a wide range of professional experience that I have been able to tap into because the class sizes are smaller and I have much more contact time with tutors, compared to university.”
“There were 17 of us on the FdA course and only 12 now on the BA course, which is less than at the Brighton campus. I’ve been able to have more one-to-one mentoring which has helped me to apply myself and gain really good marks.”
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