Welwyn Garden City care worker wins prestigious award

A CARER who understands the steps needed to move from sheltered housing to residing independently after he achieved it himself, has been rewarded with a prestigious gong.

Jonathan Elkhuja, from WGC, overcome severe dyslexia and a physical disability, in his bid to be a carer.

After years of studying on various Oaklands College courses, the 21-year-old achieved his dream when he was offered a role at Greenacres Residential Home for the elderly.

Last month all his hard work was recognised when he was given the Regional Individual Award as part of the 20th annual Adult Learners’ Week.

Jonathan said his journey had been an emotional one.

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“The first time I became aware of being different was when I started at a secondary school.

“When I got stuck in reading, people used to take the mickey out of me. That made me feel down and stopped me wanting to learn and improve,” he said.

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After school Jonathan went to Oaklands, where he was put on a work placement scheme abetting disabled learners at the college.

Following help from Ela Nisbet, Oaklands’ transition worker, he discovered a passion he had from childhood – caring.

“Even though I had to work hard to overcome my barriers, I knew that I would succeed in the end,” he said.

“I hope that in time, with more experience and further qualifications, I will be able to make a real difference to the lives of people who are less able than myself.”

Ela added that Jonathan’s “extremely positive” attitude, hard work, and ability to help others made him stand out at Oaklands.

She added: “Jonathan’s achievements are inspirational on every level, having been attained while battling with severe dyslexia and trying to achieve independence in his personal life.

“He refused to live his life being dependent on the social benefits he was entitled to.

“Instead he fought a hard battle to achieve his goals, success and independence.”

Zoe Hancock, college principal, said: “We are extremely proud of Jonathan and hope that his story will inspire many other young people to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.”

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