My second life began after cancer. Greatly debilitated by pain and fatigue and unable to work, I concentrated on the things I could do – and had always wanted to do – and signed up for courses in deaf signing, art and counselling and became deeply involved in voluntary activities – which brought further training opportunities.
After 2 years of a 4 year fine art diploma I was able to step onto a BA Hons degree. Breast cancer intruded a few years later (I’d had 10 years on HRT – never realised the risks) and treatments knocked me sideways: I had to take a year out, then commute to a straight BA. But it was a fantastic experience – and I wasn’t doing it to gain letters after my name.
1999 Bachelor of Arts, Visual Studies, University of Lincolnshire & Humberside
FURTHER EDUCATION/VOCATIONAL TRAINING
1991 Royal Society of Arts Counselling Skills Certificate
+ numerous Cancerlink supportive care courses (listening and
responding/telephone support/bereavement counselling etc)
1991 Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People (CACDP)Stage 1
1991 City & Guilds of London Institute ALBSU, Adult Literacy Basic Skills Unit, Initial Certificate in Teaching Basic Communication Skills (teaching literacy)
1996 Cancerlink: ‘Training the Trainer’ Certificate (teaching listening skills)
2000 Cancerlink CancerVoices ‘Good Practice in User-Involvement’ Course sponsored by North Yorkshire Health Authority.
1994-2002 Community Health Council/Association of Community Health Councils England and Wales– numerous NHS/partnership-working courses.
1992-94 P/T Vocational Course Part 1 Art & Design – Upper Credit, YorkCollege of Further & Higher Education
1992 Social Services Child Fostering course
1992 Victim Support Visiting course