For fifty years, the inability to read or write caused Sue to feel, in her own words, “a social misfit.” She had little social life, never attended parents’ meetings at her sons’ school and could not read their school reports. She has also experienced cancer and mental ill-health and is registered disabled.
But then she started literacy classes at Bracknell and Wokingham College, passing entry levels 1 and 2 in Literacy, the first academic certificates she has ever achieved. “I have learnt such a lot and I am so happy in life now,” says Sue. “The whole world has opened up for me. I can cope with forms and now have a bank account.”
Learning has given Sue “new-found happiness, selfreliance and belief in herself as an intelligent and able person,” says Chris Sears, study support assistant. She has begun to write stories and her psychiatrist has cut down her medication. Since improving her literacy, Sue has helped others, running a basic reading group for members at her mental health support group meetings.