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philippa childcare college

Philippa, who’s 28, has always been ambitious.

But like many people in their twenties, finding the best way forward isn’t always easy – especially when you have lots of talents like Philippa!

At first, Philippa, who loves baking, had wanted to make and sell cupcakes and desserts.

But given the pressure and long hours a baking business might need, Philippa decided that might be a bit too much for her.

Thankfully, Philippa had another idea – to pursue a career in childcare.

“I've got a one-year-old niece, and that made me realise that I wanted to work with children,” she says.

So Philippa decided on a one-year childcare course, a Level 1 Diploma in Caring for Children, at Calderdale College in Halifax, West Yorkshire.

The college is situated about eight miles from Philippa’s apartment at Ashbrow Heights, Huddersfield, a Lifeways supported living service which is currently home to seven individuals.

As part of the enrolment process for the childcare course, Philippa had to write a statement about why she wanted to do the course. Philippa put lots of effort into the statement. “[The course administrator] was very impressed by that,” she says.

Philippa was then accepted onto the course.

‘It’s amazing’

Last week, Philippa began the course induction. So far, she loves it. “It’s amazing,” she says. “It’s made my confidence grow, and it’s going really well.” 

Philippa particularly enjoys the practical, hands-on aspects of the course.

“I'm learning a lot… we were learning about making experiments together with children, like mixing paints, and making new colours”.

“We also do individual assignments, and group work. We [also] made play-dough, which was really fun as well.”

Earlier, Philippa found taking the bus to college and back a challenge – but not anymore.

“I used to get support from my support workers to take the bus, but now I travel independently there and back, which is a big step for me.”

Next stop: independence

What’s next for Philippa? The one-year course includes a work placement, which begins next year.

Then, when the course finishes in summer 2022, graduates have the option to either start work in a nursery or creche, or continue further education.

Philippa’s looking forward to what the future holds – and is happy with both the course and life at Ashbrow Heights.

Philippa’s lived at Ashbrow Heights since moving from her childhood home at her mother’s house last spring.

She says she’s thriving. “I've made friends for life,” says Philippa.

“All the support workers are lovely. I've lived here a year-and-a-bit now, and again that's made me gain more independence.”

Leading Philippa’s support team is Saddam Malik, Ashbrow Heights’ Service Manager.

Saddam’s delighted at Philippa’s new-found independence since moving to Ashbrow Heights, and now as she’s started the course.

‘A busy bee’

“Philippa’s a busy bee,” says Saddam. “This is a great achievement for her, and it’s great to see her reach her goals.”

“As Philippa has shown, Ashbrow Heights is not a service for life,” Saddam adds.

“It's a service for people we support to be able and supported to develop their skills, so they can go on to live independently. I feel like Philippa is on the way to living fully independently right now.”

About Ashbrow Heights:

Located in a residential suburb outside of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, Ashbrow Heights can support up to nine adults who live with mental health needs.

The purpose-built supported living service contains nine one-bedroom apartments – so each individual has their own front door.

The service also contains an accessible garden with a patio, and on-site assistive technology which can be tailored to suit each person’s needs.

Ashbrow Heights is part of Lifeways.

About Lifeways:

With 11,000 colleagues at 1,500 services across England, Scotland, and Wales, Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of professionals who support close to 5,000 adults living in the community.

Lifeways’ extensive experience and national reach mean we deliver extraordinary support to adults, enabling them to live fulfilling and independent lives in the community.

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