Toni’s story

Toni

I went to an event at the local community centre and I began talking to the Bristol community learning development worker. He suggested courses that I could try and said to go and see him about them. I suffer from anxiety and depression and had very low self-esteem, it took me a week to build up the courage to go and see him.

I said that I really needed to do something, my children are currently in care and I am trying to do things to better myself.

Before I started the course. I thought I wouldn’t fit in, but after three weeks I had spoken to everyone on the course and I am still in contact with them now. The tutor was absolutely
wonderful; she broke things down into sections which made it much easier. I’ve done Introduction to Childcare, Maths, English, Mental Health Training, First Aid and Food Hygiene. I am currently doing the Money Wise course and it’s really helping me deal with money and budgeting. I’ve picked up lots of tips on how to find good deals, cook on a budget and save money.

I wanted to be more involved in my community and trained to be a resident representative, which I really enjoy. I also looked for a support group for families with children in care, and after
realising there wasn’t one I decided to start one myself. I now run the group, providing support to families in similar situations. Although it’s difficult I’m really proud of the support group.
I think the courses are absolutely brilliant: I’ve learned more recently than when I was in school. I’ve made so many friends and I find it easier to communicate with people. If it wasn’t for
the courses, I wouldn’t be where I am now.