Overcoming Barriers


October 24, 2023

BIG Shout Out to one of our lovely learners, Maria who has recently won the Kirklees Adult Learner of the Year 2023 Award.  Read on to discover the reason she was nominated by our partners at Kirklees Success Centre, and why she was so deserving….

“Seven years ago I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I am in constant pain and it affects me every single day, because of this I also have tremors and brain fog. Living with this condition as well as having other health issues has impacted on my mental health and I also experience bouts of Depression. However, with medication the pain is now manageable and attending the Recovery College helps improve my mental health; I particular enjoy the craft courses, as crafting helps me when I’m having a bad day. It helps take my mind off my negative thoughts, not just during the activity itself but I regularly find that I’m not focusing on those negative thoughts long after the crafting is done, whether at the College or at home.

About a year ago, I signed up for the ‘Write Time for Wellbeing’ course, delivered by Kirklees Success Centre. When I joined, I told the tutor, Heather that I was rubbish at English and explained about all my health conditions, and how Fibromyalgia affects me and that I would struggle to write things down. Heather was very reassuring and offered to scribe for me if needed. Week by week, my writing got better and better. Unfortunately, during that period my brother was rushed into intensive care which meant that I was unable to finish the course. Sadly, my brother passed away two weeks later. Inspired, I wrote a poem for him and, having kept in contact with Heather I forwarded this to her. She was so impressed with my work and commitment, she asked if she could put me forward for this years’ Kirklees Adult Learner Awards.

A few weeks later, I received an email informing me that I had won! I couldn’t believe it! I received my award on 12 October and had a wonderful evening. My daughter attended the presentation with me and, having been to several of her award ceremonies at school over the years, it was so nice to have the roles reversed for a change and I know she was so pleased and proud of me.

I have now rebooked on the ‘Write Time for Wellbeing’ course, so I can finish the two weeks that I missed. I would definitely recommend signing up for the course; I now use writing as a tool to help with my wellbeing, and incorporate it into my scrapbooking journal, which I love.”

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