Emily Harding

After having my son, I faced many personal issues, experiences I had in childhood resurfaced leaving me riddled with depression and anxiety.

After a few years of barely leaving the house, I noticed the impact it was having on my son – who was already showing signs of autism. My anxiety really wasn’t helping his social development, leaving the house to go anywhere was near enough impossible. That’s when I knew it was time to change.

Through the job centre, I went to Communities for Work. The lady I saw spoke to me about adult learning, going on courses to build my confidence and improve my mental health before jumping into work. This way I could gain qualifications and choose a job path to go down.

I enrolled with Adult Community Learning on a childcare course. From this my mental health improved. I found I was using education as a distraction from the “voices” in my head. I fought through my anxiety and started running, as a result I lost 5 stone.

My new knowledge helps me with my parenting. I was able to thoroughly fill out forms for my son’s assessments about his development and I’m more confident in raising my concerns and dealing with the support he needs.

My son was only in school for 1 hour each day, but I used my course, and I taught my son how to read.

Adult education changed not only my life, but also my son’s life and I can’t be more grateful for all the help and support I’ve had.

From not being able to leave the house, I’m now travelling and learning different ways of teaching and promoting learning. – what a change.

At first it was hard, but now it’s the best thing that happened to me, as I have realised how far I have come. I also decided where I want to take my career path which has led me to start a part-time degree with the Open University in Wales. With these qualifications I have a desire to help others in need of help and guidance, like I once did.

If I can do it, you can do it.

Want to know more?

Emily started her journey with Communities for Work.

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