June Martin




After suffering a stroke and later dealing with isolation through the Covid-19 lockdowns, June found happiness and confidence learning with Open Age. Her return to learning enabled her to take charge of her life, and she is now enrolled on courses ranging from digital skills to singing, cooking and gardening. 

I had completed an Access to Nursing course back in 2012, but I was unable to embark on my planned nursing career after suffering a stroke. For seven years I was in my house on my own, seeing only doctors and carers. I lost two carers in the Grenfell fire, and, in need of support, contacted the Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service where I was referred to see a counsellor.  

Over time, my counselling got me believing I could do anything, and I surprised my counsellor by announcing in January 2022 that I was doing a course upstairs on how to use a computer. With my growing confidence, I am now choosing to do courses, such as build your own website to develop a business selling jewellery online.  

I love being able to come to class: it is such a feeling of freedom. My memory is improving as is my speech, and I am challenging myself every day to make improvements so that I will have my jewellery business. I hope to one day study for an Open University degree in craft.   

Education has given me control of my life. And I am still alive, and very happy to be alive! 

Angela Sharkey, Head of Learning and Community Development at Open Age, said: “When June arrived with us in January 2022, she lacked confidence. These days, her posture is one of someone who is proud. She is an example of why we work at Open Age: she gets a buzz from coming, and we get a buzz from seeing her.”