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English student Gaynor eyes up career in mental health

Gaynor Williams who studied Functional English

Gaynor Williams is an accounts assistant based in Telford, as well as being a part time firefighter, who recently finished and passed her Functional Skills English with us here at Telford College. We spoke to her and asked her what she liked about the course and what the future held for her.

“I’ve worked in various jobs, from cleaning to factory work, finally settling into accountancy for about 12 years now. Initially, I completed a back to work again course with Telford College, after having my children, which helped prepare me for the accountancy sector and landed me a job in accounts.

“Whilst in this position, I completed an AAT foundation with Telford College as evening lectures. But more recently, I’ve decided I needed a change in field.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided that I wanted a job that really helped people. I applied for a position as a mental health support worker and got the job, working in this role for about 18 months, before deciding that I wanted to gain further skills in this industry.

“I looked at going to university to study mental health nursing, however I found out that I required English and maths to study at that level.”

Gaynor then decided to attend one of our open days, signing up to do both courses to help get started, with a view to go on and study the Access to Higher Education course to bridge the gap.

Upon returning to Telford College, Gaynor embraced her new course. “I enjoyed coming back to college for the English and maths evening sessions and I would encourage every adult who needs maths and English to take the plunge.”

“My teachers were extremely pleasant and were great teaching adult learners, understanding the lifestyles we had and different backgrounds we all came from.

“It was an extremely proud moment for myself, going back to study these two particular subjects due to my previous time at school. Just to know that I am capable of achieving these goals was amazing, and I was encouraged by my math tutor to continue further studies.”

At the moment, Gaynor has returned to working in accounting, however she is still continuing to chase her dream role in mental health.

Lindsey Mulhern, one of Gaynor’s English lecturers, praised her commitment to her studies amongst a very busy lifestyle.

“Gaynor was very passionate about her role as a part-time firefighter, during Speaking & Listening assessments she gave a very detailed and informative presentation about what it was like to do the role, the fitness levels required, the personal skills she had developed and the satisfaction she gained from carrying out the role.

“In fact, her pager went off during class one evening so she had to dash off to the fire station next door but then came back to class afterwards demonstrating her commitment to the course!

“As well as being a part-time firefighter she also worked as an accountant in her day job and juggled studying, fire-fighting and accounting – a very impressive and committed student.”

To find out more about the Functional Skills English course, click here.