English Functional Skills student Winnie
“If you can’t read or write it makes simple things difficult,” says Winnie who, up until she joined the college four years ago, couldn’t do either.
After initially signing up for a phonics course to learn how words are formed and sound, Winnie progressed to a functional skills English course and is now able to read novels and also feels confident enough to apply for an Introduction to IT course.
She added: “Everyday tasks need a certain amount of reading and it feels great to be able to go into a shop and pick up a birthday card or a packet of food and be able to understand what it says on the label rather than having to make the excuse that I’d forgotten my glasses and get the shop assistant to read it for me.
“I don’t have to rely on others so much and as a result my confidence has increased and I feel much happier, which has had a real impact on my daily life.
“And people around me have noticed how much I’ve changed too – in fact my brother and my neighbour both want to come to college to learn how to read and write as they can see what a positive effect it’s had on me.
“If anyone else is in my position – for whatever reason – I’d say face your fears and don’t be scared of learning. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done and it really has changed my life!”