Learning: Georgia’s story*

Our stories
Photo: Siora

Georgia’s situation

Georgia had a difficult childhood and suffered very low self-esteem.  At 17, she was living in supported accommodation in Yeovil under the care of the Local Authority and with the support of the social services team working with young people in danger of exploitation.  She was only 17.

Her 18th birthday was fast approaching and she was understandably anxious about the overnight transition she faced from children’s social care into adult services.  She wasn’t sure what it meant for her future.

Georgia had failed to pass her English GCSE whilst in school but recognised how important it was. She had planned to go to college but without her English her options were limited. That changed when she saw a Rendezvous Learning advert.

What happened next

Georgia registered with us online and after a follow up call was encouraged to come to her first learning session in Yeovil.  She brought her case-worker with her for moral support and met Alan her tutor, an ex-teacher with a quiet and empathetic approach.  Alan was quick to recognise that she was very capable and as long as she was able to apply herself, it wouldn’t be long before she would be ready to sit the exam papers.

Georgia attended weekly sessions in Yeovil and completed the homework Alan set.  Even though her concentration and self-esteem wavered at times Georgia made rapid progress and her confidence began to increase. At one point she quietly revealed to her case-worker that she wanted to be our ‘first success’. 

Georgia took her reading exam in early June and only dropped 2 marks which gave her a great boost of confidence.  But it was short-lived. The next exam module involved making a presentation and having a recorded discussion with other people. The idea of this terrified her and she became reluctant to engage. But Alan, and Faye and Julie from the Learning team as well as her caseworker worked together to support and encourage her, to keep her on track and stop her from dropping out. Ultimately though, the credit must go to Georgia for overcoming her anxiety and successfully passing the speaking and listening exam before going on to sail through the final written paper.

The difference it made

Georgia fulfilled her desire to be our ‘first success’.  She gained a full Level 2 English qualification and has now started college. She is more confident, she is making new friends and doors are opening for her.   She is transitioning into adult social care and feeling more in control of her destiny is hopeful that she will be OK.

Thanks

Our thanks go to Alan, our wonderful tutor, and the work he did with Georgia to help her on her journey and to the Vicarage Street Methodist Church in Yeovil for hosting us in our first few months. But we could not have done it without the Somerset Community Foundation who had the confidence in us to fund our new Yeovil project in the middle of a pandemic.

Want to know more or get involved?

If you would like to learn with us or would like to volunteer or simply find out more please get in touch with Julie or Faye here. Alternatively, you can help keep this project going by donating here.

* Not her real name