Holistic Support Proves Crucial to Learn New Skills
Sibel first came to Single Parent Action Network (SPAN) in 2009 when her daughter was only 6 months old. She had recently separated from her husband and could not speak very much English which meant she felt very isolated. Thanks to childcare provision and holistic support whilst learning at SPAN she has moved on to the next step and is now volunteering, whilst studying, to help herself get back into the labour market.
First steps with learning
With the help of a support worker Sibel started a class of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at beginners level (Entry level 1). Sibel worked hard over the next two years and went on to complete her Entry level 2 and Entry level 3. As SPAN’s funding only allows delivery of ESOL classes at Entry level she then had to go to another venue, the City of Bristol College, to progress with ESOL level 1 and level 2.
Overcoming childcare issues
“Level 1 and Level 2 classes at the College are only offered in the evening which is difficult for me as a single parent. However, I really wanted to do it. Staff at SPAN helped me to find a childminder who could look after my daughter in the evening. However, after a few months she said she could not do it any more. It was very hard. I had to pay a student and also rely on friends. This year, I am doing level 2 and I have found another childminder. There is no childcare at the College even for day courses. At SPAN there is childcare also the times fit around my daughter”.
Sibel’s daughter has now started school so Sibel is now taking every opportunity to prepare herself to enter the labour market. She is volunteering at the SPAN pre-school to gain some work experience whilst also studying a level 1 course in Health & Social Care at SPAN.
“I also went to the Job Club at SPAN and the tutor helped me to prepare my CV. She was very nice. I am applying for jobs now. I have done so much at SPAN. You can find everything here…Sally [SPAN’s Parent Support Worker] helps me at the moment when I don’t understand letters and also with the Job Centre and job applications”.
Holistic support crucial
Sibel feels that the holistic support she has received from SPAN has been crucial for her to move on and integrate in Bristol. She likes the fact that parents are able to access different things in the same place – childcare, 1:1 support, courses and volunteer opportunities. To other parents considering coming to SPAN, she would say:
“SPAN is useful for people who have children. They can leave their child while they are doing the course. They might not find childcare anywhere else. For me this was the main thing. It was very important. Also, they can get a lot of different kinds of support while doing the course. For example after the course if you need support worker you can make appointment and see somebody. Other places don’t offer this”.
To find out more about courses at SPAN (Bristol based) Please see the SPAN website.
Or why not try an online course here on One Space!