I worked as a nurse for over 30 years, during which I had my two children. In 2006 I’d been working in an extremely difficult role which had serious consequences on my health.
It resulted in me having a mental breakdown and I haven’t been able to return to employment since. Having been a nurse for so long, I felt I’d lost my identity. It made me doubt myself – who am I? What do I do? Being isolated made me feel depressed and it didn’t help staying at home.
I started volunteering at the local job club; it was there that I found out about the the Bristol community learning IT courses. It was already in the back of my mind to improve my computer skills. The course was great, made me feel much more confident and helped me with my CV. Although I already volunteered at the job club, I wanted to do the volunteer course.
It was fantastic: it helped me to identify my strengths and skills and how to use them in new ways. It’s also helped me realise which volunteering opportunities I’d like to do.
The courses have had a big impact on me, courses can help you to believe in yourself, that you can do other things. I am 58 and you don’t stop learning or creating new experiences. I keep
looking all the time now for what else I can do and it has made me start thinking about seeking paid employment for the future. I hope I can show others that you can come back from a difficult
time with help and support. No one is going to do it for you, you have to want it and learn how to have faith in yourself.