Deanna has always wanted to work with young people - through our Learning Centre she is making her ambition a reality.
‘I always wanted to work with young people,’ explains Deanna, as she describes her Learning Centre journey. ‘I have a real interest in young people with special educational needs – my sister has Asperger’s, which means I grew up with a genuine understanding. I thought I could make a real difference.
‘I started my family quite young, after my apprenticeship. To be with my two children, I became a stay at home mum. When the time came to get back into work, I thought I’d focus on work with young people – which could also be child friendly.
‘I started on the level 2 Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools programme at the Learning Centre. After that, I progressed onto the level 3 Diploma course, where you can choose a specialism – in my case, working with SEN.
‘The Learning Centre was great – on the first course, there was a crèche, which was what enabled me to participate. It was also a much more grown-up environment than school or college – there were ground rules and the learners had respect for each other.
‘On the level 3 programme, even though no crèche was available, our tutor, Janeth, was there for us – understanding and supportive when our children were ill; whenever there was a barrier, working around it. The learners also helped each other with a WhatsApp group.
‘After the level 2 programme, I volunteered at a local primary school and also started my level 3 – I wanted to develop and better myself and the Learning Centre gave us the opportunity to progress and develop our skills. Whilst I was studying for my level 3, I moved onto Shooters Hill College as a volunteer. After a few months, I was taken on as an employee with the right hours to fit around my young family – and the job was working with older learners with SEN, which has been great.
‘I’ve always loved learning, but this has really brought it out. One day, maybe I’ll return to the Learning Centre as an assessor!’