A Chorley mum-of-two has completely transformed her life through achieving Functional Skills qualifications with Lancashire Adult Learning.
Louise Draper, 33, recently passed her Functional Skills English and Maths at Level 2 and a matter of weeks later secured a job as a Care Assistant at Gillibrand Hall Nursing Home in Chorley.
Louise, who left school with no qualifications, first re-engaged in classes in September 2015 with LAL’s Functional Skills courses held out in the community, in Louise’s case at Highfield Children’s Centre in Chorley.
Louise said: “I was a tearaway child and ran away from home in third year at school. When I did come back, I looked after my baby sister at home when my mum gave birth, allowing her to be able to go to work. I then fell pregnant at 17, and thought this was going to be my world.
“I began classes with LAL with no real knowledge of basic English and Maths. All I could do was sign my name on the dole and count my change from doing my shopping. Now I know the difference between ‘there, their and they’re’ and I have the skills to budget properly.
“My motivation was the embarrassment and shame of not being able to support my eldest daughter with her homework at secondary school when she asked. Whenever I would see her pulling the books out of her bag to do her homework, I would busy myself with housework because I couldn’t face the reality of not being able to help. What made it worse was that she realised that I couldn’t help, but never said anything to me.”
As well as developing her English and Maths skills, Louise has seen other personal qualities develop and flourish through her success.
She has now been nominated by LAL for a Festival of Learning Award and will be undertaking a NVQ qualification in Health and Social Care through her job, with her eye firmly on a career in nursing.
Louise added: “Learning and achieving qualifications has transformed my life. Previously I suffered with anxiety and depression, but attending classes has given me the massive confidence boost to be around groups of people I don’t know. My self-esteem has increased equally because I can do things now and I’m also a stronger character.
“My achievements have also given me the target of a career in Nursing and I’m on the pathway to reach that goal. The idea of working in care is something that I have always wanted to do after helping my Grandad who has suffered three strokes and two major heart attacks, and has lost the use of his right side. I love my job and it is really rewarding. My Grandad and Nan are very proud of me.
“Life at home has also improved. The bond with my eldest daughter is stronger than it has ever been as she knows that I am now able to support her as I am in a much better place both personally and professionally. I’m also looking forward to the day when my younger daughter is at secondary school and I will be able to help her with her homework. There will be no more housework excuses!”
Lancashire Adult Learning delivers Functional Skills classes across the county in English, Maths, ICT, ESOL and Employability. The provision is extremely effective too, with pass rates at Level 2 in English and Maths at 98% and 96% respectively and at 98% for accredited ESOL provision.
LAL also offers an extensive range of engaging and interesting lifelong learning courses through its publicly advertised programme. These include Arts and Crafts and Humanities classes, Languages and Health and Wellbeing sessions and Employability courses.
For more information about LAL, contact 0333 003 1717 or visit www.lal.ac.uk.