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Learners' Stories

Award winners 2011...
We are in the process of adding inspirational stories from the winners of this years' NIACE
Dysgu Cymru Inspire Learners' Awards. Please call back soon for more amazing stories..

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Do you or someone you know have an inspirational storie? If so, we would love to hear from you. Email us at: info@waln.org.uk


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Hafal Group...
In 2009 The Open University in Wales developed a partnership pilot in the Merthyr area, with Voluntary Arts Wales, and Hafal, a national mental health charity providing training and employment opportunities for individuals recovering from serious mental illness and their families.

'When we started working with the Hafal students they were very apprehensive about studying as they had been out of education for some time' Says Nominator Eleri Chilcott, 'Having surmounted many barriers these students have finished the first course and have now moved onto the second. They are now able to study without extra support, using a range of OU IT resources, they have, in fact become independent learners. Their story is a prime example of what individuals and communities can achieve when made aware of the opportunities available and given the necessary support resources to take their ideas forward. Their commitment and determination to support each other to improve their skills, despite all the adversity experienced, is inspirational.



The four nominees who make up The Hafal Group each have their own stories. Shan Davies feels that the course, 'made me think about me, which is a very different because when you work in the third sector, in a care setting, everything is about other people.  I have gained a great deal of knowledge about myself and my peer group from the programme'

Sharon Harris, says 'this course makes you look at where you are and what you want to do', whilst her fellow nominee, Susanne Mahoney added that 'learning has become an integral part of my life and I would be lost without it'.

Christina Hodges says that 'I feel the flexible distance learning, at your own speed with the support on offer, makes further education available to all'.

Returning to learning has changed the group's lives and all of them agree that, 'The Open University course has given us confidence and the belief in ourselves of what we are capable of achieving'.


You can watch Hafal's video here >>

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