By Ceinwen Burnside
My husband and I moved overseas in 2004, where I home-schooled my three daughters. Due to circumstances, in 2014 I was compelled to return to Wales – jobless, penniless, homeless and hopeless. I stayed with family and friends and found various part-time jobs. I was on medication for back pain and depression – it was the lowest point of my life.
Two of my daughters came to live with me in the UK, and we were able to rent a flat. My youngest daughter went to High School, but my middle daughter and I both enrolled on courses at the Newtown College (part of NPTC Group of Colleges). She began a BTEC Level 3 course and I started a PGCE teacher-training course whilst continuing to work part-time as a care assistant.
During the two-year PGCE, I had the opportunity to do teaching practice at both Llandrindod College and Brecon Beacons College (also part of NPTC Group of Colleges). Eventually, I graduated in 2017 and my daughter passed her BTEC Level 3 course with three distinction stars. During her time at College, she also gained GCSE qualifications in English and Maths and is now in her final year at university. In 2018, I began working part-time at Brecon Beacons College as a study support assistant and then, in 2019, I also took on the role of study skills coach.
Over the last five years, I have experienced the College from the perspective of a parent, student and employee. I can honestly say that every member of staff I’ve met has been friendly and helpful. Working at the College is like being part of a family because everyone is caring and supportive. Five years ago, I was jobless, penniless and homeless, but now I have a home and no longer rely on government benefits. I have a fulfilling career and I’m so grateful that NPTC Group of Colleges has changed my life.