Student Success!

Aspire Sussex is a registered charity and a leading provider of Adult Education in West Sussex. Therefore, we are always hearing stories of life-changing, confidence-building and career-making journeys on our courses.


Sarah, from Bognor Regis, attended one of our Floristry courses and her passion and career has bloomed ever since…

“Fairly frequently, people would come to dinner and bring me flowers. This was lovely, except I had no idea what to do with them! I would take them out of the wrapping and dump them in a vase. I could appreciate their beauty, but no matter how I moved them about in the vase, they still looked wrong. I decided that I would like to find out what to do with the flowers, so I looked online for a course. I wanted something that would be short because I probably wouldn’t like it, but would give me the skills necessary to make the flowers look reasonable.

After some research online I found a short 4 week course with Aspire Sussex one evening a week for 2 hours close to my home, so I booked it. I turned up on the first evening with great trepidation and was taken aback when I saw what we were going to be expected to make. We were given an introduction and then shown how to complete the design. Despite feeling that it would look a mess, I made a design that looked passable. I was really pleased with myself; it gave me a great sense of satisfaction that I could make something so pretty!

I looked forward to the next week, when we made something different and I went home to practise! The course gave me a great deal of confidence and when it was extended for another 4 weeks, I was really pleased and carried on. I got so hooked on the amazing things that could be done with flowers, I learnt quickly and moved onto more complex designs.

When the course finished, I decided that I really did want to know more, so I applied to attend a City and Guilds Level 2 in Floristry and worked in a florists to gain experience.  I completed this and am now working on my Level 3. I decided that I would like to share my enthusiasm and knowledge, and so applied to become a floristry tutor with Aspire Sussex!  I would not now have a new career and be doing something that I love, if it were not for attending an Adult Education course.”

If you’re interested in following in Sarah’s footsteps and attending a floristry course please call 0345 6 01 01 61 and speak to a member of our team.



David, 75, struggled to read or write until he became his wife’s carer aged 71. This was a catalyst for David to return to education to improve his literacy and computing skills.

Realising he would need these skills to look after his wife properly, David visited us – literally shaking with nerves – to enquire about courses. He began his first Learn to Read and Spell class that summer. Having received very little formal education after attending school during the war years, David found these classes very difficult at first. However, despite suffering from severe dyslexia, David persevered and his determination and hard work meant that he was soon seeing results. As David’s literacy skills improved, so did his confidence, and soon he was able to assist and encourage his classmates with their progression.

When David went on to sign up for an Absolute Beginners computing class, his tutor was not aware of David’s background and therefore made no allowances for him. David coped remarkably with the printed hand-outs and PowerPoint presentations that were used to teach the class, and has progressed excellently.

David was recognised as the 2014 Adult Learner’s Week Regional Winner for South East. David’s nominator, Charles Simmonds, commented: “David won because he has overcome great challenges and is a real inspiration to many other learners. Through his learning, he also shows the profound effect that adult learning can have on an individual, his family and the wider community as well.”