Our online courses offer the means for all of our learners to participate!

13-July-2022
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One of our learners, who would like to remain anonymous shares how their online lessons have enabled them to participate in their arts and crafts courses and improved their wellbeing. . .

Our learner says, “I had an injury at work and developed a complex regional pain syndrome, resulting in constant pain. I can’t walk far and have chronic fatigue. During my Pain Management course, I was encouraged to find hobbies or learn skills that would distract me from the pain. I tried to take part in a sewing course at my local library years ago but found it too difficult to manage my sewing machine, materials and my crutches whilst traveling to the venue. I then discovered that Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales offered online courses, and they have given me a lifeline to learning. I have gained friendship and regained my lost confidence. The free online courses have been a god send, as I had become a virtual ‘recluse’ – even before lockdown! Prior to this, I avoided people, afraid that my foot would be touched, knocked, or injured again. I feel that I have regained a lot of my lost confidence, I have acquired new skills and that I have an online community of friends from all over Wales who are interested in sewing, knitting and Art. I feel that my mental health has improved through interacting with my peers in my classes, and I have something to look forward to each week.

By being online I could be in my own home, not having to go out in all weathers, carrying all items I needed – something not so easy as I use crutches or my wheelchair to get around. Online lessons gave me the advantage of meeting people in a safe space, seeing and learning techniques at my own pace and being provided with resources to refer to any time. I could rest when I needed and have a break and a cup of tea at my own leisure.

I feel that I now have purpose in my life. There is a reason to get up and learn something new. I can show people I know that I have developed new skills and I have enjoyed their positive responses to my art and creative items. One family member asks to see what I am currently making, and we talk about how I made items. In the past I didn’t feel that I contributed much to the conversation so that has helped a lot. I have been encouraged by the creative skills in art and creative sewing and knitting, to make items that I find pleasing and that others can enjoy too. I have made children’s toys, cushions, bags, quilts and much more!

I particularly appreciated the encouragement from the tutors in my lessons, Helen and Maria and the friendliness of the other students made the learning so much easier. If things didn’t work out, they were there to give support. One time, the fabric Christmas tree looked more like a dinosaur, we all laughed at the weird shape I had created. As a group we supported each other if someone was going through a bad patch and wanted to give up. Even though we as students may be from all over Wales, we are, for the lesson, together, learning and laughing. Taking us away, for at least a couple of hours, from what can be a quite solitary life.

During COVID I had become very isolated, I recognised that I had already been in ‘self-isolation’ for quite a while. I found, with the online course, that I didn’t have to struggle getting to a venue with all my ‘gear’, that I could rest, take my time, and speak to the tutor if I felt I needed to take some timeout. My confidence in becoming a person of value again grew as I progressed through the course. My accident had robbed me of so much but the courses with the support from the tutors and fellow students brought back some of the ‘old me’ and enabled me to become a better me.

I learnt about different artists, techniques and gained new skills. We looked at Welsh artists and women artists, and this expanded my curiosity to work with stitching in art. This also was reflected in the sewing course when Maria showed us the ‘RED DRESS’ which had stitching from women from all over the world – the dress was in an exhibition in Swansea.
While I am retired, I would still like to continue with online courses. I have regained my love for learning.

I would encourage everyone to look at the courses Addysg Oedolion Cymru | Adult Learning Wales offer and dip their toe into the world of learning. Learn for fun or learn a new skill – You are never too old to start!”

We would like to thank our learner for sharing their experience and congratulate them on their achievements.

Click here to find a course and start your learning journey!

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