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Volunteering into Work

Volunteering into Work

When Raaho first came to Single Parent Action Network (SPAN) she was a single parent with a young baby and a 4 year old child. She had arrived in the UK a few years earlier, felt isolated and lacked confidence. After attending groups, volunteering and completing childcare courses at the family study centre she is now pursuing her dream of working with children.

How it all started

Raaho says she got involved in a lot of different groups and was given opportunities that helped her to gain confidence. Most importantly, coming to SPAN meant that she was able to pursue her ambition of working with children.

“When I first came to SPAN it was a bit scary. I was thinking what will they be able to do for me? Back then I was feeling frustrated, because I had been at home alone with the children for too long. When I came to SPAN I became more confident. My confidence grew and I started to do some voluntary work in the office. I also got involved in the Study Centre Advisory Group and supported Somali women with language barriers”.

Pursuing a career in childcare

Raaho started with a level 1 course in Working In Early Years Setting and progressed to a level 2 course which was delivered at SPAN in partnership with City of Bristol College.

“I did my placement in the SPAN crèche and when I had finished my level 2 I was offered to work in there. I worked as a crèche worker for 3 years. Then I did a level 3, which I have just finished. I now work in the SPAN pre-school on a regular basis”.


Raaho says that coming to SPAN changed her life and she feels a lot more confident in herself. Next year she is doing a course with the Open University which will allow her to develop her academic writing in the English language. She knows that she needs to improve her writing to study child development or child psychology at university.

“Thank you to SPAN for giving me more confidence. When I first came to this country I had given up hope of going anywhere in life, I was only focusing on my children. When I came to SPAN I met many different people who encouraged and supported me. Confidence to work, to do everything…is the most important thing to me. To be part of society and to move on…”

Raaho says that she often tell other people about SPAN and encourages them to attend.

“I tell people to give it a try, that you can move on – look at me. Sometimes it takes some time, but if you are given the chance, take it and don’t be afraid of trying”.

To find out more about courses at SPAN (Bristol based) Please see the SPAN website. 

Or why not try an one of our online courses?

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