Mum-of-two Gaynor Howden-Bullas has used new skills learned through Middlesbrough College to help vulnerable people on Teesside.
The support worker from Bishopsgarth used distance learning to get new skills that she’s already put into practice at the Rosedale Centre in Stockton – an assessment and rehabilitation centre.
Gaynor is currently studying Understanding Medication and Prescriptions through Middlesbrough College, having completed an Awareness in Mental Health course.
The training is in addition to her work towards a Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care.
Gaynor explained: “At the moment I’m working as a support worker.
“The Awareness in Mental Health course has already helped a lot with my job role as we do sometimes have people come into my workplace who have mental health problems.
“We deal with a variety of people who have had hospital treatment and the course is helping me to identify when people might have different conditions, and how to handle them.
“Also the Medication course I’m studying helps me to be more aware of the risks around medication. This has got the double benefit of being useful to me at work and at home.”
For Gaynor, the choice to study via distance learning was a straight forward one with clear benefits to her continuing professional development.
Middlesbrough College offers students the chance to study completely free of charge, if the course is completed within 12 weeks.
She added: “The support I have received from the college has been really good. Any questions I have e-mailed have been answered quickly.
“I would definitely recommend the courses to anyone else. It’s a great chance to study something that interests you, and I’ve found the process has been more like a hobby.”
Middlesbrough College courses are delivered online via a dashboard which gives students taught resources, note-making facilities and opportunity to review their progress.
Students may be studying in the comfort of their own homes, but specialist college staff are on hand to create a smooth learning experience.
And, like Gaynor, some may find the experience gives them the appetite for more knowledge.
Gaynor added: “I would like to work my way through all of the Middlesbrough College courses if I have the time.
“I’ve enjoyed completing the course online as I can fit it in with everything else and just sit and do it when I feel like it.
“And my husband enjoys me doing the course as well because it gives him full control of the TV!”