M qualified as a midwife a few years ago, but a traumatic incident caused her to leave the profession that she loved. She knew she had lost her confidence but was determined to continue to help others in a charity setting.
Whilst helping women in her community she discovered that Threshold DAS was offering women in her community who were employed or self-employed in her area the chance to complete a qualification and asked if she could have a place. A staff member of Threshold undertook an assessment and a training plan with her and she was accepted on to the programme. She decided to study safeguarding and knew that this course would give her an Agored Cymru qualification. In the past she attended courses on the subject but only received a certificate proving attendance. She felt this was the course to help her upskill for the future.
These are her words:
“Following completion of a Safeguarding Level 2 course I have gained confidence to return back to practicing as a midwife. Within my current role I have responsibility for other staff members & students within the team, knowledge obtained has enhanced my practise too. I have also used this training to improve my private antenatal classes and obtained a voluntary position as a safeguarding officer for a local football team. I have been on many safeguarding courses over the years but this one has by far been the best one. Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and uses for this qualification are endless. Thank you LIMITLESS.”
She has regained her confidence, and a new position which has enhanced her career helping others and improved her career path. She has developed courses and is now teaching antenatal classes with her own business as well as being employed. She says that she feels “like a new woman”.
W lives in the Caerphilly Borough. She is separated from the father of her eldest son and began a new relationship. Her partner was a good father to her son, but the relationship came to an end. Eventually she began seeing someone else. However, this time the relationship became abusive and W lost all her confidence and self-esteem. She eventually found the strength to leave her partner, but still suffered low self-esteem from her the abuse she suffered . Falling pregnant by the father of her first son, W gave birth to another boy. The father supported them, but they were not in a relationship together.
This is her story as she wrote it:
“Hiya my name is W and I have two sons who are 16 and 8 years old. Around 10 years ago after splitting up with my long-term boyfriend I started seeing someone else called X. Until then I had always been a very confident person. I didn’t finish with X on bad terms- we had a fantastic relationship when it come to my son (he wasn’t his father) but he still kept in contact as he had brought him up from a baby. I had known him all through school and we were always really good friends and remain friends to this day.
I began a new relationship with Y. At first, my new boyfriend was great but then after a few months, things started to change. Even though I remained in the relationship for two years by the time it was over it had completely changed me as a person. I suffered mental, physical and emotional abuse the whole time. In time my hair grew back, and the bruises faded but I still have the scars and the broken teeth as a constant reminder and I believe the mental pain I went through was probably a lot worse than getting hit sometimes. As I said before, I went from being a popular happy confident person to a nervous wreck who was worried about how I looked and what I said and did all the time.
After my experience I feel like I can spot all the signs of a bad partner and I’m very guarded about who I let into mine and my children’s lives.
After we split up, I felt pretty worthless -I ended up having a one-night stand with my previous ex and that’s how I got pregnant with my 2nd child, I knew he would be a good father as he is to my older son who isn’t his. He still continues to support me and both my boys and is like my best friend. My oldest child has a great relationship with his father too and we all get on. When people/friends see how good I have it with my children’s dads they often tell me how lucky I am. There’s no arguing or bitterness just a lot of help and communication in the best interests of both my children.
I’ve finally realised that the bad relationship I was in where he hurt me was not my fault- I attended some classes on Safeguarding and Domestic Abuse with Threshold DAS and my confidence grew again, I finally felt like the old me the one that could do anything I put my mind to.
After attending the courses, I also noticed someone else in my family was taking advantage of me and jeopardising everything I wanted to do… when I told this person I wanted to volunteer to work with victims of domestic abuse she told me not to bother doing the training because she didn’t think I’d be very good at it. She then ended her comment with “You’re not the only person who’s been in a crappy relationship and it was years ago, forget about it.” But there are some things you can’t just forget about especially things that put you on a completely different path in life.
Before my abusive relationship I had my own beautiful home, a well-paid job, loads of close friends and family. I lost it all, first my job for taking so much time off, then my home because I had to leave somewhere I had lived for years as he wouldn’t move out. I left with my son and a bag of clothes. I feel like I have achieved so much since then- I now have my own home, my own business & 2 happy, well-behaved boys who are my life!
I have recently decided to join a local business which looks after women and children who have been involved with domestic abuse. I’m in training at the moment which I’m really enjoying. I don’t think I would have had the confidence to do this if it wasn’t for Threshold DAS and my trainer who made me realise that I deserve to be treated respectfully. I would definitely recommend the courses to anyone who has suffered domestic abuse or to anyone who would like to further their career with one of the other courses they have to offer. Thank you, Threshold DAS, here’s to the start of a brand new me!”
W is now helping others who are or have suffered abuse. She is more like her old self and now has the confidence, with her newly earned qualifications to look for employment within the sector.
S is 32 years and is employed by a local Council. Her work involves helping others, and safeguarding issues can arise. She has worked there for about 12 months and has lately felt she wanted to develop her career prospects within the safeguarding pathway but know she needed to obtain further qualifications to do this.
“I completed this course with a company named Threshold who were amazing to work with and I had a very thorough tutor who always rang me on time for my tutorials over the telephone whilst being in Lockdown. I feel more confident and happier to apply for Safeguarding job roles now as I have more understanding and knowledge of legislation and what the word ‘Safeguarding’ actually means. I will be completing further courses in the nearer future with Threshold.”
S is currently completing job applications for work she would not have felt confident to apply for previously and feels she has at least one step on the ladder towards a new job where she can help and support others.
C is 23 years of age and has been living in the Caerphilly Borough for most of her life.
At 22 years of age, she found herself as a single parent, looking for employment to support both herself and her son. She began a low paid, part-time job in the area but had a dream of pursuing a career in teaching. The welfare of the young people was very important to her and she wanted to find a way of not merely passing on information to her future pupils but being able to support them emotionally and to ensure their wellbeing and safety. C was aware that she needed to find out more about this aspect of teaching before pursuing her future career. This is her story, in her words:
“When my son was 3 months, I went back to work part-time in the hope that I could occupy myself and save up prior to embarking upon my PGCE course. During this time, I also participated in various programmes such as the Solihull approach to parenting. It was during a Solihull session that I was exposed to the work done by Threshold DAS and it was where I put my name forward to participate in relevant courses. As a working mother who wants to professionally establish herself and progress her career, signing up was a no brainer.
I was excited about taking part in courses and programmes that could assist me in both my personal and professional life. The courses on offer were extensive and covered an array of topics that could potentially benefit so many women, no matter their circumstances. The first course I signed up for was a Safeguarding Level 2 certificate. I knew I would be beginning the next steps to my teaching career and so the course was relevant to my specific circumstances. However, the knowledge gained from the sessions would benefit any person working with children, young adults or vulnerable adults.
The Safeguarding course was held over 2 days in a small group setting. The group tutor would facilitate conversation and provide learning resources so we could complete the required booklets ready to submit to an exam board. The course provides you with a recognised qualification and enhances your awareness on how to spot when a child or vulnerable person’s welfare is not being protected, what action you can personally take depending on your position, and what agencies or charities you can turn to for support or to report.
The course was highly beneficial to my professional life. Once I began my PGCE course I was ahead of the game so to speak. I had a greater understanding of my responsibilities as a teacher and what actions would be required of me if I were to experience an issue with a student’s welfare. Once I began at my placement school, I communicated with the safeguarding team and established positive relationships throughout the staff department. Moreover, in the job application process the course highly supports my application and demonstrates a dedication and awareness of my chosen career path.
I would strongly advise any woman who wants to better herself personally or professionally to look into the opportunities provided by Threshold. For a young woman starting her own business, for the social worker wanting to expand her expertise, or for the part-time worker looking for greater job prospects, sign up. You have nothing to lose and can participate on the courses most relevant to you and your aspirations.
For women in our area, aspirations and morale can be low. Opportunities like this ensure that we can achieve, improve and enhance ourselves. Education is lifelong and you never know what doors could be opened when you embark upon a new journey. I am hugely thankful I have had this experience.”
C completed her Safeguarding training with Threshold DAS and subsequently went on to achieve her PGCE, having the knowledge and confidence that she could help her pupils regarding their education and welfare. She is currently applying for teaching posts and hopes to commence her career at the out start of the next Academic year.
“I am in my 30s and have 3 children. I work part time in banking, while my children have been home. I have put my career on hold but now that my children are in school full time I wish to concentrate on my career. I am hoping to change my career path so these courses have allowed me to gain some more knowledge, meet others, and start learning again.
I enrolled with LIMITLESS just under a year ago. I have now completed the Volunteering course, Mental Health & Stress, and Safeguarding. I am just about to start Domestic Violence Awareness. Doing these courses has given me a chance to increase my knowledge in an area where I did not know much. It has given me confidence and I have enjoyed meeting new people and doing something for myself.
The support from the LIMITLESS Programme has helped me get out of a rut. I did not know where to start. Although I have not yet managed to change my job, I feel like these courses are a good start. I have been able to add to my CV. I am very grateful to D and O for being so helpful and welcoming. They have been very informative, and I feel like I have learnt a lot. Would highly recommend the courses to anyone who is considering a career change or anyone feeling a bit lost.
These courses have given me a chance to meet others and love learning again.”
“I usually have an outdoors job that involves lots of interaction with other people. During lockdown my mood and confidence dropped due to the change in my work situation. I came across your huge selection of training courses and decided to try one, after speaking to your really helpful and friendly staff.
It has helped me in my job role, as I now feel I have a good understanding of current environmental issues and can talk about these with my participants. Now we don’t just go on a litter pick or similar event, but I can pass this information on to educate and inspire others.
In my personal life, having something to focus on a difficult time was a really positive distraction. It was lovely to talk with your tutors regularly, and my confidence was really boosted by completing the course.
You helped me feel better about myself, improved my work life and inspired me to be a better global citizen!”
“I design and deliver learning interventions as part of my role as Learning and Development Facilitator. I work for a registered social landlord with large commercial and care and support divisions and run training sessions and put together e-learning for staff at all levels within the business.
I was looking to be able to benchmark and supplement the learning materials I have already gathered around Carbon Literacy and give me additional confidence in sources of information to direct staff.
It’s helped me on a personal level to look at more of the environmental issues in my local area and understand the impact of these. This has helped my own focus and thinking around sustainability and what I can do more of. Doing the course helped me to think that I was already along the right lines and consolidated my thinking.”
“I saw an ad on social media, it sounded like something I could get my teeth into during lockdown and proved to be very informative and helpful. As I suffer with compromised mental health, as do a high number of individuals in society nowadays, I thought delving deeper into why I sometimes have these mental lapses would help me to understand and deal with them better, if not obliterate them completely.
It did indeed, I am happy to say I passed and am awaiting my certification. It gave me the confidence to put myself out there as, due to COVID, my job became redundant. Normally this would have set me back, and I would have withdrawn into myself and negative thoughts would have taken over. But having done this course gave me the push I needed to get myself noticed! I’m not perfect, but who is? I’m human, I’m flawed but I’m as good as anyone else!
I am feeling much better in general, in fact an area where I was very fragile was driving in places I was unfamiliar with. No more! I have had to drive due to my job and not panicked in the slightest. I have been in control, not my fears!
For me it’s opened new doors, allowed me to face fears and challenges I never ever thought I could overcome. I am so pleased I took the risk, as initially it was a scary step to take!”
LV was looking to improve her skills in order for her to seek a promotion in her existing role. She says:
“It has helped with both my confidence and me in my role. I already knew most of the information, but I did not know how it formally fitted together or where it fitted into the legal framework, so the course has helped to make me feel more confident in how to apply the information. I had to use it during the course for a number of safeguarding policies, in particular one where a number of symptoms were present. The course had refreshed my knowledge of these, so I was able to identify them quicker, learning the process to report them which has resulted in a safeguarding case. The symptoms were not clear cut or easy to spot, and without the course I may have been less confident in reporting them.
I found L very helpful and understanding. The course was virtual and was at the right pace, but I struggled due to a high workload due to the virus and home-schooling, all while working full time. At no point was I made to feel that I was failing, L was very understanding and gave me good feedback on the work as I submitted it.
I thought it was very good and more in depth than I was expecting, which was a good surprise, as I feel that I learnt a lot.”
BL works with vulnerable adults in the community, and feels that it is her personal responsibility to look out for others both inside and outside of the workplace.
“I decided to complete the training to improve my knowledge which in turn would have a positive impact on the people I support.
Due to the great support and encouragement from my tutor I have realised I have the capacity to achieve academic results – my brain still works!
When I left school, I had 1 GCSE and 7 CSEs. That was the end of my learning as far as I was concerned. I then saw the email from Threshold and thought ‘why not, you’re never too old to learn.’ So now I am in learning mode again!”
BL has completed the Safeguarding course and is continuing to seek more opportunities:
“I now intend to complete more training!”