Finalist 2021

Karen Davies

2021 Runner-up

Karen first started a phonics course to support her youngest son who struggles with learning. However, she soon realised the wider benefits of education for her own health and wellbeing, which had been severely affected by post-natal depression and a nervous breakdown a few years earlier.

I signed up to the phonics online courses to help my children – one of whom is slightly behind with his schooling – during lockdown and to support their development. My confidence started growing, and I thought it might be time to work on my own learning and retrain my brain from the damage left from my illness.

Enrolling onto the Level 1 Health and Social Care course has without a doubt supported my recovery – taking part in structured learning gave me a reason to push myself and has given me a drive to succeed. I think it’s also a great thing for my children to see me enjoying learning, and they can see that I’m much more positive person.

Learning throughout lockdown hasn’t always been easy – I started off doing the online classes through my mobile phone which was a real challenge. I also had a lot of confidence issues to start with. As part of the Level 1 course, I had to do a 15-minute presentation on signposting in a family connectors role, after never having done a presentation in my life. I got really positive feedback from my tutors which has given me a boost and made me believe in myself a lot more. I want to keep learning to achieve the Level 1 and with my newfound knowledge give something back to society.

Judith, Karen’s tutor, said: “Karen has grown with the group; her confident to participate, challenge thoughts and share her own ambitions has developed enthusiastically. She provides an air of calmness and composes herself in a positive and organised manner, whilst in a small group task she led with caution to allow others to provide comments whilst motivating to participate. Karen is an asset to the course.”