National Union of Students (NUS) student of the year nominee Aidan Brewins (20) has overcome adversity in his personal life to pursue his dream career as a sports coach
Despite having to cope with homelessness and his responsibilities as a carer for his sister and mother, Aidan manages to volunteer for at least 25 hours per month with the Oxfam charity shop in Stirling as well as studying for his National Certificate in Sport and Fitness at the Falkirk Campus, leading up to the level 6 Pathway to Sports to Coaching. He also finds time to give service to 1st Tillicoultry Boys Brigade as a Warrant Officer, and as a coach with Cricket Scotland. Through the efforts with volunteering he has been able to complete over 455 hours within these organisations over the last two and a half years.
He has earned the Forth Valley Student Association Volunteer Gold Badge, the Queens Badge at the BBs and is working his way towards the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Aidan, said: “It feels really good to have been nominated. I was not expecting to be put forward for the NUS award, but to be shortlisted was an amazing achievement. I have been homeless with my mum and sister since the summer of 2017 with no Internet access, so unable to complete revision tasks outside of college and still meet my deadlines.
“I have grown up with schools in England telling me I would be in prison by now, and that I would never get a job. I was also given no help with my autism until we moved to Scotland in 2012. Clackmannanshire Secondary Support School, which was the first school I attended upon moving here, helped so much by assisting me.
“I just have the outlook which I learned off my Grandad, which is whenever anything gets in my way, I just look at it as a hurdle. Once I’m over it, it will then make the next thing I focus on a little easier and also to not let anyone or anything stand in my way.”
Elena Semple, FVSA Activities and Volunteer coordinator said: “When considering Aidan for this award we were absolutely overwhelmed with the bravery determination, courage and positive spirit that he has shown.
“He has faced difficult circumstances such as homelessness and demanding responsibilities as a young carer for his mother and younger sister. Yet despite the adversity he has faced, his sheer determination has been awe-inspiring as he has been able to study full-time, volunteer with many third sector organisations and within the college as well.”
Aidan chose Forth Valley to study due to the sports facilities on campus, and added: “Access to the campus gym has really helped with the completion of the physical section of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold award.
“Studying at the college has really improved my confidence and opened up volunteering opportunities. The staff have been great in advising how to get to my goal of being a coach and helping me gain experience so I can decide which sport I would like to specialise in.”
For more information call 01324 403000 or visit https://www.forthvalley.ac.uk/courses/sport/pathway-to-sports-coaching