As a working single mother with little personal support, Eileen first began learning at 40, taking O-Level GCEs and courses in improving mental health, well-being and parenting skills. Now 74, she is still using learning to solve problems and help others in family development groups.
“Learning has helped me to become more aware of people and their needs,” says Eileen. “It has helped me in my church where I teach children aged 3–11 and organise activities for them.” As a Community Caretaker for Sefton Council, Eileen took courses to help her communicate and build relationships with the residents. Now, when looking after her grandchildren, she can help them with their homework. “Learning has given me a confidence I didn’t have before. Talking to or teaching people in every station of life holds no problem for me.”
At 72, after a long struggle, she took a job with Tesco. “This was simply another challenge that Eileen had met head on and overcome with her knowledge, skills and personal qualities,” said family development worker Karla McDonough.