Learn more about our Step into Care programme here, and read some case studies below.

Catherine's story
Apart from a brief spell working in retail over the Christmas period, Catherine has been unemployed since 2008. Catherine tried hard to get a job.  She volunteered in charity shops and took various qualifications but her confidence always let her down. She worked as a carer in the late 90s.  She really enjoyed the work but a lack of confidence and up to date knowledge stopped her from applying for employment in the field.  

Catherine’s learning journey with the WEA started just over a month ago when her DWP Work Coach told her about the Step into Care Cumbria programme.  Delivered over 5 weeks by Zoom and Canvas, the course covered Awards in Stress & Mental Health Awareness, Step into Care and employability skills.  She is now looking forward to starting her new career as a Support Worker for people with learning disabilities.   

“I loved everything about the course and enjoyed learning online.  Before I started the course, I would class my IT skills as adequate but I have learned so much since doing this course.  I really didn't miss the classroom as you could see each other on the screen and hold discussions in breakout rooms via Zoom. It was scary at first not knowing anything about Zoom and Canvas but I settled into it okay.  I'm glad I stuck with it and not let my nerves get the better of me, as I learnt about Care provision in the 21st century.  It opened my eyes and if I hadn't stuck with it I probably wouldn't have got the offer of employment from Leonard Cheshire”. 

The programme has made an impact on her life overall. “I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to do this course. The tutor, Janet Hadfield, has been brilliant, not putting too much pressure on us and guiding us on the right path as far as the qualification goes”. 

My confidence has grown so much since I started the course.  I speak up in sessions and feel more confident meeting new people.  I feel confident to start work.  I know I have the knowledge I need which will help my role as a support worker.  The course helped me when I went for the interview too because I knew the answers to the questions because of what I have learnt on the course.  

Susan's story

Susan first heard of the Step into Care programme from her DWP work coach.  Her previous career was in conservation as a Project Manager.    As retirement drew closer, she made the decision to swop the computer screen and office environment for a job that makes a difference to people. 

 “I wanted to enjoy my last years at work.  I have always liked people especially the elderly.    Step into Care gave me the skills I need to work in care.  I loved the course.  I love learning!  I feel confident to start my new job and look forward to applying the skills I leant to the people I support.  I feel confident to make judgements. The course made me realise a lot about myself.  I discovered I already had the skills, just needed to know how to apply them.  Jan, the tutor, was brilliant.  She used to be a Care Manager and she knew her subject inside out.  It was great being part of a group and hearing everyone else’s points of view. I gained a huge insight into working in care.   

Inspira joined us for some sessions.  They gave us advice on CVs, writing application forms and Interview skills.  I learnt how to present myself properly in interviews.  These sessions prepared me for my interview with Creative Service. This knowledge give me confidence when I went for my interview and helped me to get the job.  

All the courses were online.  My computer skills are good but I was still a bit apprehensive about online learning.  I needn’t have been.  In fact, I enjoyed it and didn’t miss the classroom at all.  I stumbled for the first few sessions but it got easier.  Canvas was excellent and I found it a good way of submitting my course work”.