Emma Smith

Learning for Work Award | Sponsored by NOCN


Learning for Work Award

Emma spent a large part of her adult life battling alcohol addiction. She didn’t leave her house for long periods of time and her life lacked direction. After being referred by North Yorkshire Horizons, Emma went on to complete over 10 courses, volunteer with the charity and is now a successful full-time member of their team.

I was referred onto the Action Towards Inclusion (ATI) project by North Yorkshire Horizons, an adult drug and alcohol recovery service. I definitely needed some focus and structure to my life, to avoid me slipping back into my previous habits.

I left school with no qualifications and did some occasional work as a caravan cleaner and working in a hotel, but I always had aspirations to help people, I just didn’t know where to turn. After joining the ATI project, I went on to complete 10 courses in subjects such as drugs and alcohol awareness course, counselling, volunteering and information, advice and guidance.

When you’re going through addiction and recovery from addiction, you spend a lot of time thinking you’re not good enough. I wanted to start learning to progress and get a career, so that my family and friends can be proud of me, and I can be proud of myself. I volunteered at Action Towards Inclusion in my free time and started leading a group of participants to the wellbeing session. When a job opportunity came up, I applied and got the job.

Learning has made me feel as though I have a future again. I am so proud of the career path I have created and without those first steps back into learning, I couldn’t have done it.

Lindsey Ellis, Key Worker and Action Towards Inclusion, said:

‘When Emma came onto the project as a participant, she had always had aspirations to help people but didn’t know where to turn. She now has a fulfilling career, she’s helping others learn, and she’s helping others to identify their barriers. She’s an inspiration to those people that are still in addiction.’