Award for determined Rugbeian who overcame tragedy and homelessness to complete diploma - The Rugby Observer

Award for determined Rugbeian who overcame tragedy and homelessness to complete diploma

Rugby Editorial 6th Feb, 2020 Updated: 6th Feb, 2020   0

A DETERMINED Rugby man who did not let homelessness and tragedy stop him from achieving a qualification which led him to university has received a prestigious award.

Jack Farr completed his Access to Higher Education in Social Sciences diploma at Rugby College despite several traumatic experiences, including the loss of his sister, a painful divorce, losing contact with his children and being homeless for several months.

His remarkable strength in adversity has now been recognised with the national Keith Fletcher Award for Outstanding Commitment to Study, capping off an incredible year.

At his lowest point, Jack found himself depending on Rugby homelessness charity Hope 4, and without money to pay for food or transport to college – but he still managed to pass all of his exams.




After graduating from Rugby College, he was accepted to Northampton University where he is now studying for a degree in psychology and counselling.

He was then put forward for the Keith Fletcher Award after winning the regional CAVA Access to Higher Education Award.


Jack said: “This year has been one of the most challenging but fulfilling years of my life.

“It’s been a long journey, and there have been some very dark times, but I am very grateful for the support from people close to me.

“My mum has been inspirational over the last year. No matter how tired or broken I felt, she convinced me to stick with my studies. She also did an Access to Higher Education course and told me how important it had been for her.”

Jack decided to pursue the qualification following the death of his sister. His mental health suffered as a result, forcing him to take time off work.

“I wasn’t in a good place after my sister’s death but it also put a lot of things into perspective,” he said.

“I had always wanted to be a counsellor but I didn’t get the grades in school. I was working in retail at the time and I didn’t really get the support I needed from my employer after my sister died.”

So one day he decided life was too short, quit his job on the spot, and went to the college to see what they could offer him. He enrolled there and then, and by the following month he was in the classroom.

“I can’t speak highly enough of my teachers at Rugby College and the support they gave me during my course,” he said. “They gave me constant encouragement and did everything they could to allow me to complete my studies.”

A spokesperson for Hope 4 said: “Congratulations Jack. It is great to see all you are achieving, and it was our pleasure to have been a support to you. Keep on going!”

James Stacey of WCG, the group which runs Rugby College, said: “Jack’s is a remarkable story and all of us at WCG are so proud of everything he has achieved.

“Jack has shown a tremendous amount of resilience during what has been a very challenging time and his university place was testament to all of his hard work.

“There is no-one more deserving of the award. He is an inspirational person and we are thrilled his determination and perseverance has been recognised.”

Jack will attend a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament in the spring to collect his accolade.

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