Sarah Parr

Adult student, Sarah returned to education at Knowsley Community College after a 35-year break. Alongside caring for her mum full-time, Sarah used the opportunity to learn new skills to prepare her for a job that she really wants.

Three years ago, Sarah, 50, was working full-time as a Demonstration Team Manager at a wholesaler in Liverpool. Out of the blue, she received the devastating news that her mum was terminally ill with Alzheimer’s and took the tough decision to leave work to become a full-time carer for her mum.

Following a year of looking after her mum, Sarah decided to look at returning to education in order to keep her mind active but to also gain some qualifications for a future career.

With Knowsley Community College on her doorstep, Sarah’s daughter who was already a student at the College encouraged her to attend an Open Day to explore her options.

After dropping into College, Sarah, from Huyton, was advised that the College’s WorkWorld programme would be the ideal starting point for her.

WorkWorld offers the opportunity to undertake free, short courses, which are designed to boost students’ confidence, support them into employment and/or on to further training and learning. Many of our courses lead to nationally accredited qualifications.

Sarah says, “I studied Functional Skills in English and maths, as well as a level 1 qualification in IT and found that they were the perfect starting point for me to build up my confidence and ability. I’ve since progressed on to GCSE English and maths as well as a level 2 qualification in IT.”

WorkWorld Manager, Susan Kelly, said, “We are really proud of Sarah, she stepped outside of her comfort zone to make the move back into education. She has demonstrated humility, courage and a real determination to have achieved her qualifications alongside the demands of her family and caring responsibilities. I’m so pleased that WorkWorld could support her.”

Sarah has now passed her GCSEs and is delighted with her results. She says, “Going back to College is a really great chance to improve your skills, which could help you gain employment or perhaps get you into a job that you’ll enjoy.”

She adds, “It is also excellent for confidence building, as you feel so happy with yourself when you learn new skills, and especially when you gain a qualification. For me, the courses fit flexibly around caring for my mum and it is an enjoyable experience in a relaxed environment offering a chance to meet new people. I’m really proud of what I have achieved.”