When Gill first started thinking about training with WEA to work in an education setting she had some misgivings. “My coach at the Job Centre said ‘oh, you’ll be all right’, and I said ‘excuse me?! It’s been 40 years plus since I was at school!” Gill recalls. “But it was easy. I thoroughly enjoyed it; it was really brilliant.” 

WEA learner Gillian

All the classes were on Zoom, which is a programme that Gill had never used before. Gill’s tutor Jacky encouraged her: “Gillian really pushed herself out of her comfort zone, as she not only had to learn how to navigate Zoom, but she had to upload and access her assignments through Canvas. Gillian never gave up even when things weren't going to plan.” 

“It gave me a lot of confidence to learn how to download things, and go on to Zoom meetings and stuff like that,” Gill says. “I wanted to do a course about how to become a Teaching Assistant. Now I’ve actually done one, it was all online. I had to manage it all myself, which I’m quite chuffed about managing to do.” 

 Gill has now achieved her Level 1 Award in Stress Awareness, Mental Health, and Substance Misuse, completing three accredited qualifications and two non-accredited qualifications in a space of five months and all online. 

“Gill is an inspiration to all those around her,” Jacky said. “She supported others to help motivate them with their digital skills. I am so proud of Gill and all of her achievements.” 

Video transcript






Hi, my name is Gill and I am the winner of the enhanced digital skills award.


I was put on a SWAP course with the WEA by my coach at the job centre. I've done a Level 1  


award in stress awareness, mental health and substance misuse. I then took another  


different direction with WEA and went into the  education part of it which I did a pathway into  


education supporting in school. I know my  coach at the job centre was like oh you'll  


be all right and I'm like erm, excuse me,  it's 40 years plus since I was in school,  


but it was easy, it was good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was really brilliant.


All the classes where they're on Zoom which is something that I've never used before.


It gave me a lot of confidence to learn how to  download things and go on to Zoom meetings and  


stuff like that because the Level 2 had to be  cancelled and I still wanted to do a course in  


education for teaching assistant I have actually  done one and it was all online they didn't have a  


tutor or anything so I had to manage it myself which I'm quite chuffed about managing to do.


I'm just over the moon I mean I wasn't  expecting it at all this is the first  


time I've ever been awarded anything for  something that I have you know put in  


personally and it was so off the blue you know  I was really pleased it's so pronoun to do that.

Lady in yellow jumper learning with the WEA on her laptop

Find a WEA course

Learn something new with us today.