A shining example to us all

Release Date: 26 October 2017

David Diamond (48) is a Social Care Officer with Angus Council working in a residential unit for children and young people, as well as a foster carer. He recently passed his HNC in Social Care but studying hasn’t always come easily.

David Article
David Diamond, HNC Social Care graduate.

I left school with very few qualifications and started an apprenticeship in painting and decorating. At the same time, I discovered I had kidney disease which required regular dialysis and eventually a transplant.”

 David still managed to gain his SCOTVEC national certificate qualifications and, at just 18, as well as working full-time, he was awarded the coveted Green Beret in the Royal Marines Reserves.

 Fast forward almost 30 years and David, along with some council colleagues, enrolled on a distance learning course with Dundee and Angus College. David also decided to undertake an SVQ Level 3 Award for Children and Young People.

 “I could see the links between the theories I was learning and the children and young people I worked with and fostered.

 “Shortly after beginning I had to have a kidney removed and then start dialysis. I was off work for a few months to recover and it was during that time I decided to continue towards the SVQ Award.”

 David managed to juggle work, fostering and dialysis with studying, attending college to meet his tutor or work in the library in what little spare time he had.

 “I was having problems with reading and processing information and turned to student support services for help. They arranged for me to be assessed by an educational psychologist, and I was diagnosed with dyslexia and dysgraphia.”

 Then, at a routine eye test, David discovered he has the eye condition Meares-Irlen Syndrome which has a strong link with dyslexia.

 David also has Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis.

 “In secondary school I had struggled in classes and, looking back, now I can see why.”

 David has been nominated for an SVQ Award at the SQA Star Awards ceremony in Edinburgh next month and, despite his early negative experiences, he is now considering applying to university to undertake his next learning opportunity.

 “This has been a challenging year for me but I’m relieved and proud of what I have achieved. I hope my story helps anyone else who may be struggling with their studying and learning. I would like to acknowledge and say thanks for the help and support from staff within D&A’s Gardyne Campus, my colleagues at Angus Council and also from my wife Pam and son Matt.”