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Inspirational Achiever of the Year

Andrew Shipp

Inspirational Achiever Finalist Impresses With Determination to Overcome All Obstacles

Andrew has been nominated for this award by Hanna Craig, Course Supervisor at Pitman Training Holborn. Once they learned of his story they knew he represented the qualities sought by the SuperAchievers Awards.

Andrew found out in secondary school that he had a disability of partially sighted (bilateral Congenital Cataracts & Nystagmus.) Even though he had this from birth, the tutors didn't pick this up. From this, bullying began and his confidence deteriorated, meaning he left school with few qualifications.

From the age of 16 and leaving school, Andrew had always been interested in photography, film making and using real film.

In 1999, Andrew became the first partially sighted person within the British Institute of Professional Photography to achieve an Associate-ship throughout the country, an amazing achievement. He pursued his passion and for a period of time, ran his family photographic business.

Having become unemployed within the competitive field of photography and film, Andrew decided to pursue an ECDL qualification so he could change careers and seek a job in IT/Office. Through a charity, he was able to commence his Level 2 ECDL 7 modules with Pitman Training Holborn.

Andrew and the team in the centre worked hard so that he could realise his ambitions, even with confidence issues he gained due to his earlier life experiences. Even with the obstacles faced; with private tutors to support him and getting BCS on board to support Andrew, they all helped him to realise his ambitions. The team say Andrew is very bright and quick to pick up these new skills.

To date, Andrew has nearly completed Level 2 ECDL course/7 modules online learning and examinations on his own, with support of a tutor for the reading part only. In all of the ECDL diagnostic and certificate exams, he has achieved at least 90% or more on each (75% is the cut-off mark).

Andrew has proved to be a real inspiration for those around him. Hanna at Pitman Training Holborn said, "we have had many students starting a course or on a course who are doubting their abilities due to confidence, disability or because it's a new area of study. We can talk of Andrew and how determined he is to complete a course with a disability. He is very much an inspiration to us and our other students in our centre!"

When we asked Hanna why she felt Andrew should win this award, she said that "Andrew is an incredible man and I'm so proud we have him as a student; I believe this award would change his world and view on how hard his life has been."

Andrew's story has shown that whatever life has thrown at him: disability, bullying, unemployment, cancer, change of career, learning new skills to name a few, he is much focused and ignores all negativity around him. Determination, persistence, adaptability and hard work are what makes him a true Inspirational Achiever.

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