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Mother Who Beat Anxiety Embarks On Healthcare Career And Wins National Learning Award

Nov 4, 2020

An Introduction into Health and Social Care course run by the Health and Care Sector Work Academy at City College Peterborough at a local care home gave Laura Dunn-Green the opportunity she needed to overcome her anxiety, discover her passion for care, and embark on a new career.

Laura had her daughter when she was 16 years old and so missed out on continuing her education. When her daughter was nearly a year old, her father died which had a significant impact on Laura’s mental health. She suffered with severe and anxiety and depression and struggled to leave the house.   

Laura had always been interested in care work, and with the support and encouragement of her coach at the Job Centre, she signed up to a work academy programme.

Given her anxiety, and having always been a shy and reserved person, Laura initially found it difficult to engage with the course. However, as it progressed, she found herself growing in confidence, enjoying the learning, and making new friends.

Returning to learning has transformed Laura’s life. She excelled in her course, and she is now in a job she loves as a healthcare assistant, at a local care home. Laura is keen to continue learning, and to build her career in the sector.

Laura has been announced as the national winner of the Festival of Learning 2020 New Directions award which is sponsored by the Skills and Education Group. Organised by Learning and Work Institute, and supported by the Department for Education, Festival of Learning is an annual campaign which aims both to celebrate the power of learning to transform lives, and to encourage more adults to take part.

Laura said: “I’ve become a much more confident person and I feel like I have a purpose. I felt like I had spent so many years being mum and dad that I forgot how to be me but the work academy helped me find myself and made me realise that I could make my daughter proud of me.”

Claire Mansfield, Health and Care Sector Work Academy tutor said: “Laura is flourishing at work and continues learning and upskilling to further her career towards a managerial role. Her determination shines through and she is an amazing role model for her young daughter.”

Stephen Evans, chief executive of Learning and Work Institute, said: “Laura’s story demonstrates the life-changing and profound effect that learning can have on mental health and wellbeing. Heading back into learning took great courage but has transformed Laura’s life and led her to a new job which she loves. We are delighted to present Laura with this award and wish her every success in the future. 

“Festival of Learning awards celebrate the commitment and achievements of outstanding adult learners, tutors, projects and employers. These stories show us how transformative lifelong learning can be, not just for individuals but for families, communities and society. As we look to build back better after the pandemic, we need to redouble our efforts to provide access to lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

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