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Mother of Four Discovers Career Path Through Apprenticeship Course at College

A mother in her late 30s has found her true vocation in life after completing a course at Waltham Forest College.

Sarah Channell, 38, from Edmonton in Enfield, with four children, started a new career last August at Trinity London Care Leyton.

Two years ago, she decided that she needed to change her life and applied online for an apprenticeship course at the College. Her application was accepted and she has not looked back since.

Sarah completed a two-year, Health and Social Care Level 2 course with one day a week at the College and four days working at Trinity London Care. She worked as a support worker helping adults with autism and complex learning difficulties. After completing her studies, she continued at the day care centre where she is one of 25 staff looking after 17 service users.

She said: “I love what I am doing and wish I had done it years ago. The work is challenging but I love it. What I really like is when I help someone with learning difficulties make a sandwich, for example, and when it’s finished you see the happiness on their face. It’s amazing! The simplest thing we do can be a thousand times harder for adults with learning difficulties.

“Before the course, I was a full-time mum for 18 years and then decided to take a job at a supermarket. I did online ordering and customer service. It just wasn’t me. Although I worked in retail for years, I felt the job was mundane and exhausting. There was no job satisfaction. I thought, well, you are never too old and took the step to go back to college. Thank God, Waltham Forest College took me.”

I realized I could do it!

She said: “The tutors were fantastic. They helped me pass my maths. I’m dyslexic, which has always held me back. I didn’t go for anything before because I thought I’d fail. But thanks to the support and encouragement at Waltham Forest College, I realized I could do it! In fact, the whole atmosphere at the College made me feel alive again.”

Her new found love of education has encouraged her 18-year-old son. He has passed his Accounting and Finance Level 2 course and now wants to go to Waltham Forest College in January 2018 to complete his Level 3.

Sarah said: “My education has encouraged my children to do more. My son thinks if I can do it, so can he.”

The course at Waltham Forest has no formal entry requirements but good written and spoken English is needed. A successful enhanced criminal records check is also needed. The course includes: communication, personal development, equality and inclusion, duty of care, the role of the health and social care worker, safeguarding and protection, health and safety and handling information. Learner’s performance is assessed at the workplace.

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