A Passport to Wellbeing learner decided that a Pottery course would be beneficial to her and found out about the Passport to Wellbeing Programme by reading the advert in a brochure at the Library. She contacted the Surrey Adult Learning (SAL) Customer Service Team and found it a smooth process to enrol. What she also valued was the assessment interview which was supportive but not too intrusive.
The learner decided to enrol onto the course and enjoyed it so much that she decided to use all of her free entitlement on the Pottery courses.
She said, "The thing that I benefited from the most was having two hours a week to focus on something creative. I found it of great benefit during an incredibly challenging period of my life. At the time I was having exposure therapy for my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and was having regular flashbacks that were incredibly hard to live with. I found that during the two hours of my Pottery class each week I was more "in the moment" and able to relax. I have also made a couple of good friends from the course that I now see socially outside of SAL which has again been of benefit to my wellbeing."
In terms of tutor feedback, communication and delivery our learner shared the following: "Liane my Pottery teacher was fantastic. I felt from day 1 she was there to help all of us in the class and make things as accessible as possible for everyone. I always felt able to talk to her and ask for help with my project when needed. What I liked most was her flexibility in allowing each of us to run with our own ideas and projects. I feel that if there had been a rigid programme where we had to make what we were told it would have been unlikely that I would have stayed on the programme where as allowing a more flexible approach meant I could come up with my own designs and run with them with her support. A first rate tutor!"
We asked the SAL learner about the atmosphere in the class and she said, "Yes the smaller class size meant that it was nice and peaceful and you didn't have to wait long for the tutor's attention if you needed anything. I did enjoy the mainstream Pottery class that I moved on to but found the noise of the larger class and less desk space a challenge. Whilst the rest of the class we had merged with were welcoming they had known each other for years and tended to stay in their groups so I would say whilst there was some chit chat with the new people there was not as much as there could have been with people who didn't know each other."
We were interested to know if the learner felt more confident after attending classes with us and we were delighted to hear, "Yes I am really pleased with the things I have made as have the friends and family I have made gifts for. I am now back at work so have come a long way in the time I was on the Passport to Wellbeing Programme. What I am going to take away is the importance of "I time" to live a balanced life to help with maintaining my wellbeing. I have enrolled on SAL's Upholstery course for this coming Summer Term on my day off. This will be something entirely new to me; I have my chair all ready and waiting and am really looking forward to it!"
The programme helped the learner to move on from being in a bad space by helping to provide a relaxing space/creative outlet whilst she completed important but challenging therapy. This in turn led to her to volunteer for SAL in one of their Passport to Wellbeing classes as a classroom assistant. As a qualified teacher and a background in working in the voluntary sector in mental health it made her realise how much she loved working within this field and wanted to return to it. She has now returned to paid work and supports people with mental health difficulties to find and sustain meaningful volunteering opportunities. She now finds herself signposting others to the Passport to Wellbeing Course as she know first-hand what at a great benefit it can have on your wellbeing.
Finally, we talked about life balance and the importance of personal development. The learner affirmed this by mentioning "It provides you with a new challenge, time to reflect and develop both professionally and personally and a sense of achievement upon completion. It also provides you with a creative outlet and time to be in the moment in-between the busy pace that life often throws at all of us!"
Are you experiencing anxiety, depression or sleep disorders?
Surrey Adult Learning offers free courses for adults with, as well as those recovering from, mild to moderate mental wellbeing difficulties.
To find out more contact our friendly Customer Service Team:
Tel: 0300 200 1044
Text phone (via Text Relay): 18001 0300 200 1044
SMS: 07860 053 465