Change Your Story with Nia Parry

Change Your Story with Nia Parry

This is the podcast where we hear inspirational stories about people who are gaining qualifications and learning new skills later in life. Host Nia Parry will be asking what drove her guests to change their story. And what advice they have for you if you want to change your story too. This podcast is supported by First Campus Reaching Wider, which is a partnership tackling barriers and supporting progression to higher education.


July 21, 2021 45 mins
Achieving higher level qualifications can open doors to better careers, higher earnings or more life choices. Nia speaks to three women who didn’t go to university from school. Each has taken a different route to pursue a university education – Emma, Brittany and Louise have each faced their own challenges, they talk about tackling imposter syndrome, recognising the value of the life experience they bring to their studies and their...
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Right now, there are 800,000 children in the UK who can be defined as young carers. Because of illness, disability or addiction, they juggle their schoolwork with looking after a family member or friend who cannot cope without support. On this episode, Nia catches up with Rose and Natalia; two inspirational young carers who found themselves looking after their mums at a really early age, and who have overcome barriers to study at u...
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September 24, 2020 36 mins
Two former inmates tell Nia about the impact studying in prison had on their lives.

Jonathan Gilbert was a practising solicitor who got sentenced to 12 years for his part in a large fraud. Johnny put this experience to good use in prison and enrolled on a masters in counter fraud and counter corruption. He's now teaching at Cardiff University.

Garry Parkinson promised his late mum he'd turned his back on crime after spending 10 of ...
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September 23, 2020 39 mins
Nia speaks to two women who hated school and overcame confidence issues to gain qualifications through their workplace.

Claire Arnold got her qualifications at school - not the first time but when she went back as a learning support assistant in her 20s. There she gained a degree and the GCSEs she didn’t get at 16.

Meanwhile, Flick Stock had always thought education wasn’t for her. But after signing up to do a course in British Sig...
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September 22, 2020 33 mins
Nia speaks to two inspirational women forced to flee their war-torn homelands in search of a better life here in Wales.

Larysa Aqbaso was an English teacher in her native Ukraine. After an identity crisis on arrival in the U.K., she adapted her skills to teach English to speakers of other languages (ESOL).

It’s a form of learning that helped Chawan Ali, who left Iraq with her family unable to speak a word of English. After a year le...
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September 21, 2020 36 mins
Nia catches up with two women from the Rhondda who grew up in English speaking homes and learnt Welsh later in life.

Sian Sexton was shortlisted for the Welsh learners prize at this year's Eisteddfod. But while Sian started learning when she sent her children to Welsh medium school, it wasn't until the kids got older that really started applying herself.

One of Sian's teachers, Helen Prosser, has a combination of Sunday school and ...
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September 20, 2020 42 mins
To mark the 2020 Inspire! Adult Learning Awards, Nia speaks to two former winners, Johnny Spence and Scott Jenkinson.

Johnny Spence’s severe dyslexia meant his school years were miserable and he ultimately fell into a bad crowd. Scott Jenkinson was homeless, a drug addict and spent time in a Spanish prison. Both talk to Nia about how education helped save them.
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September 14, 2020 32 secs
A taster of Change Your Story with Nia Parry. It all starts in Adult Learners Week 2020, so watch out for our first episodes wherever you get your podcasts.
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