Former prostitute Angela Brook left school at 16 with two O levels. Eighteen years later, having worked in prostitution virtually all her adult life, she picked up an Adult Learners Award this week in recognition of the struggles faced by thousands of people who return to education. Ms Brook expects to graduate with a degree in community development from the University of Bradford next year.
"Studying was very scary to begin with, but getting into cars with complete strangers is pretty scary too, and it has given me confidence in myself," she said.
Ms Brook was persuaded to give up prostitution and become an adult learner by a support group in Bradford.
Alan Tuckett, director of the National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education, which presents the awards, said: "The winners are people who have used adult learning to open doors and to change their lives."