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Showing determination in the face of adversity: making the most of distance learning

Danielle McCullough Communications and Events Officer

Nichola, a learner from Aspire Sussex – a community-based Adult Education provider – is about to embark on her second distance learning course. Despite disruptions to learning over the past year, Nichola was determined not to let that affect her future.

After being furloughed by her employer at the start of the Covid pandemic, rather than seeing this as a barrier, the mother of two instead looked on the bright side and used it as an opportunity to develop herself.

Nichola explained: “When I was furloughed, I saw it as an opportunity to make time to develop my skills and learn something new. As a mother of two primary school-age children, I have experienced first-hand the impact the pandemic has had on the mental health of my children and their peers. As a result, I wanted to increase my awareness and understanding around this topic and put myself in a better position to support them.”

After seeing an advert for the CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Children and Young People's Mental Health at Aspire Sussex, Nichola thought it seemed the perfect opportunity to learn something relevant to today’s climate.

Returning to education

Although Nichola hadn’t studied for over 15 years and initially felt daunted at the thought of ‘going back to school’, she soon realised that she need not have worried.

Speaking of starting her studies, Nichola said: “The induction meeting with my assessor was very reassuring and I quickly established a routine to complete the coursework around my commitments at home. My assessor has guided and supported me through every step of the course; giving regular constructive feedback, encouraging me, and helping me to improve and refine the content of my coursework. The whole experience has been enlightening and a huge boost to my confidence.”

Changing career

However, eight months after being furloughed, Nichola was made redundant, and again, she used this as an opportunity.

“I really considered the future of my career and decided to embark on a second distance learning course with Aspire Sussex, this time the CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Safeguarding and Prevent. I have since secured a new job at one of the leading sixth form colleges in the county, where the knowledge I have gained from both of my courses with will be invaluable. 

“I am so glad that I decided to study again as it has given me insight into a new profession and helped to guide me on a new career path. I would heartily recommend these qualifications.”

Promoting and advancing learning for all

We believe it’s never too late to learn and there should be no barrier to education, which is why our mission is to promote and advance learning for all.

We offer a range of qualifications, including a number of qualifications that are suitable and funded for distance learning.

Learning for work

"I have experienced first-hand the impact the pandemic has had on the mental health of my children and their peers. As a result, I wanted to do increase my awareness and understanding around this topic and put myself in a better position to support them.”

Nichola, Aspire Sussex