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Ash Allwood

Ash Allwood

“I left school at 16 and was homeless until I was about 25. It’s fair to say that life didn’t quite start as I was expecting. I spent years travelling around, living out of a bag and only ever taking what I could carry.

Ash Allwood telling BBC South East Today reporter, Bryony MacKenzie about his time living on the streets and how studying at degree at the college helped to get his life back on track.

Ash Allwood telling BBC South East Today reporter, Bryony MacKenzie about his time living on the streets and how studying at degree at the college helped to get his life back on track.

I took shelter under a boat on the beach

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 on the beach in Brighton. Eventually I got to a point where I didn’t enjoy being in that situation anymore so had to do something about it. I was actually living in a garage when I decided to get my life back on track and start studying at the college.

 

I moved back to my hometown in Hastings

I moved back to my hometown in Hastings and enrolled onto the Art & Design course. I knew that if I applied myself and worked hard, the college tutors would be really receptive and would be able to guide me in the right direction.

Ash Allwood with a selection of his work

Ash Allwood with a selection of his work


I spent five great years at the college studying a Level 3 BTEC in Art & Design, followed by a two year Foundation Degree in Graphic Communication, before completing a top-up year to gain a full BA qualification.

“Without the college or the support of the tutors, I wouldn’t have been able to get my life back on track”

Without the college or the support of the tutors, I wouldn’t have been able to get my life back on track, study for a degree, and start my own business. I was able to live locally, grow my fledgling business and support my family. It’s not been easy, but it could have certainly been harder had there not been degree provisions on my doorstep.

I’d love to be able to return the favour to everyone who has helped me because I owe a lot to those people, and if there is one thing that all of this has taught me, it is that you can be or do anything that you want to. OK, it’s up to you to take that step, but life is for living, so don’t merely exist.”

Natasha Duursma

Natasha Duursma

Iris Finnbogadottir

Iris Finnbogadottir