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Big Issues Seller, 58, Celebrates GCSEs With Plans To Go To University

Anish Vij

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Big Issues Seller, 58, Celebrates GCSEs With Plans To Go To University

If you ever want proof that age is just a number - a 58-year-old who was previously homeless has passed his GCSEs and is now hoping to go to university.

Outside a Theatre in Plymouth, Clive Rowe works for 'The Big Issue' which is a magazine that offers employment opportunities to people living in poverty.

He was thrilled with his results and has seemingly been able to turn his life around after previously suffering with alcoholism, bipolar and PTSD, as well as being homeless for over 20 years.

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

During lockdown he took courses at City College Plymouth and managed to pass his GCSEs in Maths and English with two 5s (two C+s for those old enough to remember letters instead of numbers).

Clive admitted: "It's just the most amazing achievement for me, because with bipolar disorder it's really difficult to keep yourself placed in the right frame of mind to do education.

"It's a massive day for me, getting 5's is just so far beyond all my expectations of what I wanted to do."

Credit: SWNS
Credit: SWNS

He started to receive treatment for his struggles and addiction five years ago.

He added: "Big Issue has helped me so much, as when I was able to move into a house and get some medication.

"It helped me deal with my bipolar and mental health issues, which helped me feel like I was actually functioning.

"I started studying for GCSE English Function one in June 2019, which I passed in January 2020.

"After that, I was able to go onto a GCSE fast track where what you normally have to learn in two years you'd learn in four months.

"I started that in January 2021, nearly all of that was online which was good and bad.

"Each class would be 2-3 hours, but they were recorded so I was able to keep up with everyone else by practising it in my free time even though I was slower than everyone else."

Whilst living in a house with five other tenants, Clive found it difficult to attend the City College in person at the start of the pandemic.

He said: "The college phoned me up and asked why I hadn't been attending online, and I said I was struggling with my domestic situation.

"So they asked if I wanted to come back into college, so within four weeks I was back in there, sometimes with only four other students."

After his educational success, Clive said he hopes to get back to studying straight away.

"My dreams for the future have expanded wonderfully, so I'm going to do a one year access course at the city college in September 2022, and then go to Plymouth University.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: University

Anish Vij
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