Being partially disabled through a back injury from a fall at my previous employment, after losing my position there, I was told that I would never work again.
I was asked by my DEA, Ann Armes, if I would like to try out the Karten CTEC Centre at Portland College as she knew that the only goal in my life was to get back to work and this was a way to achieve it.
I came to Portland in February 2007 as a new student in Administration/Customer Service (it was scary). I arrived at the College at 8.30 am in reception and was taken to the Administration/Customer Service team where I was introduced to Christine Price, my tutor. She noticed that I was very nervous, hands shaking and white as a ghost.
Christine asked if I was alright and the answer was no as this was the first time I had ever been on a computer. After being spoken to by Christine and being set up on the computer, my nerves started to settle down. Gradually I gained more and more confidence in myself to achieve the tasks I was given. From using one finger on the keyboard at a time I reached over 35 wpm within 7 months. In that time I have achieved OCR level 2 in Text Production (with a distinction), Level 1 in Literacy and working towards Excel and Word.
I applied for a number of jobs at various companies with no success then an opportunity came up at Portland College for Assessment Co-ordinator which I applied for. On the 20 September I was invited to an interview with Lisa Austin which I thought went 50/50, then on 27 September I received a phone call from her saying I had been successful with my application and did I want the position of Assessment Co-ordinator.
What do you think was my reply? I told Lisa that I was happy to accept. Through sheer determination and the work I had put in I had achieved my goal in getting back into employment. This was not just down to myself but the way I was taught by Christine and her colleagues whom, without their skills and knowledge and the facilities in the Karten CTEC Centre, I would not be where I am today, back in employment and working somewhere that I can pass on my knowledge and experience to new people arriving at the College and explaining that there is another world out there and anything can be achieved!