A friend to all who know her

Hazel came to the WEA after exhausting all avenues into education. She found the childcare assistance she needed to complete her studies and volunteer placements – and so fulfil her dream of working in a school. She has developed a thirst for knowledge with the WEA. Who knows how far it will take her? 

No matter what you have in this world or what can try stop you, you can push past it. You just need to find a different way.

Due to my circumstances, I wasn’t able to get any help with studying costs. I had a burning ambition to work in a school, but for a while it felt like nowhere could help make that dream come true. 

Then, I was tipped off about a course with the WEA, where I met my tutor Jackie. I was offered the childcare assistance I needed to complete my studies and volunteer placements. 

Working on school days, rather than in my spare time or evenings: that was a massive step change for me. Without it, I would have had to take on a job I really didn’t want to do. 

Despite lockdown, I’ve completed my Level 2 in Caring for Children and Young People and have started a special needs course. I’m proud of myself. I’m also a WEA volunteer and supporting new learners on the Helping in Schools course. 

I struggled at school. I often thought the worst of myself and second guessed my abilities. My tutors at the WEA gave me the confidence I needed. They really got me as an individual and did so much to make my learning easier. 

Some kids are overlooked in the classroom and I want to be the person that makes sure they are noticed. I love seeing how children change in confidence and how their characters come out, just because they’re getting help and attention. If I can help just one child get a better start in life, then I’ll be happy.

When I think about the help my tutor Jackie has given me at the WEA, I start to feel quite emotional. She has seen me through some very difficult times. I’ve learned much more than policies and procedures. Jackie has taught me how to be a better person. She has helped me to believe that I will achieve this dream of mine. It’s not out of reach. I’m not too old. I really am doing the best I can. She sees that. With COVID-19, the world has changed for everyone, but I’m not going to let it change my future. 

Getting a job would make a big financial difference to our family. Emotionally and physically, I think it will make a huge difference going into a job that I love. I’ll be a better mum too. I’m already learning how to help them learn. It has made such a difference during lockdown. A few years ago, I would have crumbled with the first work assignment they received from school. I won’t crumble again. 

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