6 Jan 2017
When Alice first met the mentors at Educ8 Training, she was shy, quiet and clearly lacked confidence. Educ8 training, who run an Active Inclusion funded project, backed by European Social funds turned Alice’s life around and made her aspirations of completing a course and establishing a career come true. Thanks to the project, she is now confident, outgoing and is ready to chase her career with her trusted guide dog, Philly by her side.
Alice, who is partially sighted and had concerns as to whether
she would ever be able to complete a training course first met
Educ8 training at Ystrad Mynach college where she was looking
to complete a HSC qualification but she didn't meet the criteria to
Whilst promoting their course at the college, Educ8 spoke to
Alice and gave her the opportunity to visit their office, see the
facilities and chat further. She was apprehensive at first but
ventured down to the office with her son and guide dog on each arm
anyway. She agreed to give the Educ8 course a go!
Alice was extremely nervous but joined in with all the sessions.
In the first week she completed her CIEH First Aid level 2 which
she had been told in the past she would not be able to complete due
to her disability.
As part of the course Alice had to complete a work placement and
she really wanted to work in a hospital. She had been a care
assistant in the past, this was where her disability became a
barrier but Educ8 arranged for her to go to Sight Cymru in
Alice (and Philly!) had to catch two buses to get to the office
but she really wanted to give it a try, she was determined. As soon
as she got there she picked up what was expected of her and she was
on the phones speaking to clients by the afternoon.
This was to support people with sight loss in the community, and
this service is a lifeline to many clients, who sometimes don't
have contact with anyone on a day to day basis. She also had the
opportunity to go out into the community with a rehabilitation
officer who visited people in their own homes. This experience for
Alice was invaluable, her confidence and self-esteem grew beyond
The feedback about her work from Sight Cymru was fantastic: 'She
has been an absolute joy to work with - on every level, she's been
motivated, enthusiastic, helpful, polite and professional.
I'm astonished she hasn't been snapped up already as she would be
an asset to any employer. We've encouraged her to think about
becoming a Rehabilitation Officer for the Vision Impaired - current
training is at the BCU in Birmingham although there is a
possibility in future of it being available via a new style
apprenticeship. She will make one amazing member of
staff and we'd have no hesitation in offering this sort of
employment to her'
The work placement led to Alice being offered a volunteering
position at Sight Cymru with own client list, she is also
volunteering at the Blind Club sessions once a fortnight. She has
even made contact with Birmingham University to apply for the
Rehabilitation Officer training, with a little more ICT training,
she can sign up next year!
Alice has also become a Volunteer Social Support Worker with
CCBC at a day center in Caerphilly where she is working with
elderly people with different degrees of dementia, her training
with Educ8 has come in very useful in this role! In her spare time,
she is continuing to volunteer at the "Well of Hope" Charity shop
in Ystrad Mynach. What a busy lady!
Alice has been committed to the training throughout the course
and the barriers that she has overcome have been enormous. When
Educ8 later met with Alice, they noted how much of a different
person she had become compared to the one they had first met, she
is confident and outgoing and is ready to chase her career and
become a Rehabilitation Officer.
Educ8, Active Inclusion and the European
Social Fund have helped her achieve this. Her story is a true
example of how a little training, support and determination can
help people with barriers to work achieve their goals.