Finding happiness through attending creative courses! | Adult Learning Wales

Finding happiness through attending creative courses!


After a difficult couple of years, our learner Julie Burns has been able to find happiness in attending and completing a number of our creative courses. Julie shares her experience with us, telling us about her creative journey. . .

Julie says, “Prior to joining Maria’s Patchwork class at Cefn Fforest Primary school in 2020, I spent my days doing housework even though it didn’t need it. In 2017 my husband passed away suddenly, and after that I felt there was no purpose anymore. I have no family in Wales they live in England and Ireland, although I saw them now and again, I still felt empty and lonely. I also have a condition called Chronic uncompensated Vestibular Neuritis, something that affects the nerve in the ear, causing extreme dizziness and disorientation, it usually gets better after a few weeks, but my brain failed to compensate for the disorder, so it became incurable, so as they say, I’ve had to live with it. This was part of the reason I wouldn’t leave the house too often, so the online classes are a godsend to me.

Around February 2020 I decided that it was time I tried to find something to keep me busy, so I searched online for adult learning courses. I joined Maria’s Patchwork class in Cefn Fforest. The class had quite a few ladies, but I told Maria that I wanted to see what they did before committing myself, she said “have a seat” then a lady next to me gave me fabric, scissors and then a sewing machine appeared from then on I was hooked! ..I made a very respectable patchwork cushion!

Then along came covid and everything closed. Later that year Maria set up an online class on Moodle with step-by-step instructions where I produced a mask and a Teddy bear.

From someone who knew absolutely nothing about crafting, I’ve learnt how to knit, (I’m knitting a cardigan now!!) how to crochet, upcycle fabrics, applique, patchwork and quilting, needle and wet felting and I’m now doing embroidery and Macrame.

Prior to joining the classes I would sit at home and do very little and didn’t see or talk to anyone, my mental and physical health was at an all-time low. The online classes are an absolute lifeline for me, I look forward to seeing my fellow learners and sharing ideas about the projects we’re working on chatting and laughing along the way. I’m so proud of my achievements, this would never have been possible without Maria’s step by step guidance, patience and understanding. She challenges and encourages us, never gives up and always tells us “You can do it”. Although I still grieve for the loss of my wonderful Husband, I feel I have reconnected with life a little through learning new skills.”

We would like to congratulate Julie on her achievements and thank her for sharing her experience. We are so glad that Maria’s classes have supported her!

To view more of Julie’s work, please click here.

If you would like to find a Arts and Crafts course, please click here!

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