J's journey with Stepping Stones

J has been a resident in one of our projects since early April 2014. She was made homeless due to rent arrears. She was apparently functionally illiterate and her husband dealt with all their financial affairs. After he died she was unable to manage these.

She was referred to Stepping Stones - J knew the alphabet and could write her name but had few other literacy skills. She felt her numeracy skills were somewhat stronger and she was able to perform basic money calculations and was keen to develop basic IT skills. J came across as being very keen to learn but lacking in self-confidence.

Over the initial sessions J focused on the basics of reading and writing including pronunciation, spelling, simple punctuation etc and in tandem was also introduced to the rudiments of computing.

J remained enthusiastic, attended all her sessions, completed homework assignments and seemed to enjoy learning. She made significant and demonstrable improvement, both in her literacy and her ability to use a computer. She also appeared much more self-confident.

This enthusiasm and increased confidence was also demonstrated outside the learning environment. Previously when J received an official letter she would immediately ask staff to read it to her. However she now reads it herself and only asks for help if there are words or phrases she still struggles to understand. She also regularly uses the project computer to email her daughter.

In September J’s literacy was formally baselined and she achieved an Entry level 2 score which gives her a very solid foundation for future learning. As well as one to one sessions, she now regularly attends job club, has created a CV and registered with Universal Jobmatch. She is able to search for jobs and recently applied for a job online with minimal support. This application resulted in her being offered her first ever job interview. Stepping Stones provided an interview skills session to help her prepare for this.

J has now been receiving Stepping Stones support for just over six months. She has made significant progress both in her learning and her self-confidence. She has made very real strides towards both improving her employability and her ability to eventually live independently.

She wishes to continue receive support from us to further enhance her skills. Towards this end she is enthusiastically engaging with the Life Skills project.