My story- Mike
Mike Palmer says Argyll College hasn’t just handed him the chance to boost his academic qualifications - it has given him a new lease of life.
Three years ago, Mike’s wife passed away. The couple, who’d lived in the West Midlands for 35 years, had always planned to move to a favourite village of theirs in Wales but Mike found the memories too painful to go back on his own.
Instead, he started looking for somewhere else to move to.
‘I decided it was now or never. I’d never been to Oban before, but I came up to see whether I thought it was a place I might like to live. I fell in love with it on the spot,’ he said.
Within a year Mike had moved to the town.
‘It was a completely new start for me. Once I was here I looked for things I could spend my time doing, and I began to wonder whether it would be possible to educate myself a bit more,’ he said.
‘I’d left school at 15 with no qualifications and had a variety of jobs, including a police officer and long distance truck driver. I’d picked up a few qualifications on the way, but quite liked the idea of doing a college course.
‘I went down to Argyll College for a prospectus, and the NC Business course sounded ideal. So I applied, but didn’t expect to get in because of my age and my lack of qualifications. I didn’t even have any computer skills.’
The rest, as they say, is history.
‘It’s been fantastic – I’ve loved every single minute of it,’ Mike said.
‘Everyone has been so welcoming and supportive, from my fellow classmates to the centre staff to my brilliant tutors. My skills have come on leaps and bounds, and I’m now looking at possible courses for next year.
‘For me, Argyll College is about much more than furthering my education. It has been wonderful for me socially as well, and has really helped me integrate into the local community.
‘I am so glad I bit the bullet and moved here. It was a leap of faith at the time, but it couldn’t have worked out better.
‘My message to people of any age in Argyll who might feel that education has passed them by is ‘get down to Argyll College and see what’s on offer!’. It could be one of the best decisions they ever make.’