A network for anyone with an interest in
adult education and mental health

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Building skills, confidence and motivation in St Helens




Improving aspirations

I joined the Crafts class to get back into learning and to be more confident with my abilities. During the course I enjoyed meeting new people and learning new techniques. It allowed me to focus on myself and I am now thinking more positively about things that will improve my happiness. As a result of the course, I am now enrolled on other programmes. These include Functional Skills English in preparation for further courses at College, where I hope to study counselling.

I contacted ACL and was given an appointment to come in and speak about help that was available. I was welcomed warmly and given a full breakdown of the services and how they could help me. I was nervous at first but that didn’t last long and the more groups I have taken part in, the more people I have met. I was shaking, nervous, stuttering mess when I started but the change has been dramatic. I have even signed up for a L2 teaching assistant course through ACL.

Improving employability skills

I went along to the information session and found myself signing up for a couple of courses still not really knowing if I would attend them.  But I’m so happy that I did, at the time I wasn’t really sure what it was I wanted to achieve but I knew I needed something, to help me feel better about myself. The courses gave me a window to reflect, time to be me, meet other people and realise ‘I’m not alone’. As a result, I found the confidence to sign up as a volunteer at a local hospice and further confidence to then apply for a job (which I got!)  All of which I wouldn’t have done prior to attending the courses. 

Improving well being

I had been a carer for a number of years and had been experiencing ill health myself. My only social life was my visits to the Carers Centre. A friend there told me about the photography course that she was attending. She persuaded me to give it a try. I found photography helped me to look at the world in new ways and my confidence soon grew. I have even had some of my photographs exhibited. My life has become more full and positive and I am so glad that I overcame my fears and took that first step.  We have even set up our own self organised group.

Reducing isolation

I had been receiving treatment and support for mental health issues for some years. I was unable to go outside the house on my own and even needed a member of my family to accompany me to the shops. I found it very difficult to converse with other people. I have now become a carer, and my support worker suggested that I try some classes, to help me to deal with my anxiety and to get connected with people again. I enrolled on Stress Less and Mindfulness courses, which gave me some strategies for relaxing and controlling my anxiety. Although I had no prior interest in the subject, I also enrolled on a Photography course and my life has changed for the better as a result. Thanks to the support I have received on these courses and the friends that I have made, I feel like a very different person today.