Simon Conlin shares his educational experience in today’s Raymond Williams Centenary event. | Adult Learning Wales

Simon Conlin shares his educational experience in today’s Raymond Williams Centenary event.


Our Raymond Williams Centenary event, Social Purpose in Adult Education, celebrating Raymond Williams' birth and his legacy was well attended, and built on our Explainer paper written earlier this year.

The event, Social Purpose in Adult Education, explored Raymond Williams’ critical thought, where education makes a vital - perhaps critical contribution - to society. This included ways in which education helps us to relate to one another effectively, to understand how our society works, to understand our rights and responsibilities as citizens, to work with one another, to build our communities and to confront challenges together, such as climate change and inequality.

Our four guest speakers shared their experiences underlining how adult education has impacted and shaped their personal and working lives.

One of our Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales team - Simon Conlin - was invited to be a guest speaker at this event, during which he shared how he grew up with little encouragement to pursue education, but had a desire to achieve more.

Simon noted, “I come from a working-class background where Further and higher education was never an option for my family. My parents never had those opportunities and I was never encouraged to pursue a further or higher education route. I had various unskilled jobs in factories and shops. I knew I wanted more but thought it was too late and my school education defined me.”

“I found an opportunity to learn with the then WEA South Wales in the evenings, after work. I completed a qualification and gained employment with the organisation on a project, this changed my life’s direction. Adult education has given me the opportunity to gain qualifications relevant, valuable skills that can be implemented into my working and personal life, as well as opportunities to study in university, a career and a desire to improve myself as well as helping others to do the same.”

"I have worked for Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales for 14 years and have enjoyed supporting learners, tutors and colleagues. My desire to help others has been put to good use as I have worked for the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service for 4 years as a retained Firefighter serving my community.”

We would like to congratulate Simon on his hard work and achievements and thank him for his contribution to today’s event.

To find out more about the legacy of Raymond Williams, click here.

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