In 2007 as a single parent in receipt of income support, Cheryl told her local Jobcentre Plus that she wanted to get to grips with computers and gain skills to re-enter the workplace. She was signposted towards New Directions in Reading and began with a First Step computer course followed by e-Citizen and European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) courses, finding she naturally supported other learners in their study too. Cheryl joined a volunteering course to formally gain skills to support adults on skills for life courses and then began voluntary work, helping out in IT and literacy classes at New Directions. Cheryl also completed an advanced ECDL course followed by a Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector qualification in December 2009.
In March 2010 Cheryl gained employment as an IT tutor at New Directions and is now working in a job that allows her to juggle work with family life. “My confidence has blossomed and I feel that I am giving something back after all the help and support I have received,” said Cheryl, who gained a Further Lifelong Learning teaching certificate in 2011.