Coming to Fircroft

Geri came to Fircroft College quite a few years ago after feeling failed by the education system. Geri has dyslexia and when she was at school a number of decades ago, dyslexia was not often understood by schools  and it was sometimes seen as a learning difficulty connected to intelligence.  Thankfully there is now much more understanding of dyslexia but at that time, as a child at school, she was often made to feel inadequate and less intelligent than other pupils.  As a consequence of her experience at school, as an adult Geri struggled with confidence, feeling that she was not capable of very much in life and anxious when amongst people, scared to voice her opinion in case she was laughed at and preferring to keep to herself. 

One day a friend told Geri about Fircroft College and how supportive it is and she decided to find out for herself.  From the moment she finished talking to one of the Student Services team about her learning ambitions and where she wanted to go with her life, she realised studying at Fircroft could be a real turning point for her – and it has been.

Geri’s Learning Journey

For Geri it has been a marathon rather than a sprint and like many Fircroft learners, she started with courses that got her not only used to being in education again, but realising that it can be a rewarding experience.  Her dyslexia was recognised and addressed by the tutors who helped Geri to learn in a way that suited her, with support when she needed it.

More importantly, Geri learned that many people have dyslexia, it has nothing to do with how intelligent someone is and that there are many resources available to help people with dyslexia. 

Geri also felt she needed some confidence-boosting courses which helped her to realise her opinion and thoughts are equally valid to everyone else and to speak up when she needed to.  Geri feels that the residential aspect of learning at Fircroft has been a great help to her – allowing her to have time to herself to focus on her learning, meeting new people and being able to discuss the course with her fellow students in the evenings at the college.

Where Geri is now

Geri was recruited as a Housing Pathways Coordinator with Spring Housing 6 months ago and has recently passed her probation period with them, meaning that the job is permanent.  The role is challenging but Geri loves it and is thrilled with her appointment.  The job is working with rough sleepers to help them get off the streets and into accommodation but also offering a holistic service that addresses other needs they might have.  Geri says that because of the confidence Fircroft has given her, she is able to work well with the service-users, remain resilient and is happy to ask her colleagues for help when needed.

Having a new-found confidence and self-belief since learning at Fircroft, Geri is still attending classes but she is now enrolling for work-related courses which will no doubt help her to continued success in her new job.