Adult students 'Focus on Learning'

News Archive

Adult students 'Focus on Learning'

24 April 2015

Rethink Mental Illness Main

Adult students from Bracknell & Wokingham College have recently been adding the final touches to their ceramic sculptures as part of their Focus on Learning course, developed in partnership with Rethink Mental Illness and Wokingham Borough Council.

These courses offer a discrete programme of learning opportunities for people with severe and enduring mental health issues, who see education as an integral part of their rehabilitation.

Currently the courses offered by the college for the summer term are:

  • Digital Photography
  • The Art of Relaxation
  • IT Workshop
  • Wildlife Friendly Gardening

The college provides these courses in response to the needs of those referred with the aim of building the students confidence and self-esteem, and providing a platform for them to progress on to other mainstream learning, voluntary work or employment.

Sculpting in Clay student Judith has done just that and is now planning to start her own business:

“The course has helped me to reconnect with arts and crafts, things I liked years ago and had forgotten about, and reminded me that there is more to life. My tutor has been amazing. Some days I have come into college feeling really down and as soon as he starts talking and joking he makes you feel better.

“This course made me decide I want to do more with crafts. I’m a qualified teacher and I am going to start up a new craft group called ‘Love to Craft’. I have joined a business course through Wokingham Borough Council as well and they are helping me to sort everything out. I will be running taster sessions in the summer term and starting courses in September.”

Fellow Sculpting in Clay student Carol, who has been attending these courses since 2009, also highlighted their benefits:

“I enjoy these courses so much and the best part is that I have something to show for them at the end which I can take home. I feel really proud of some of the work I’ve done.

“It’s so relaxing doing the course as I completely forget about everything else as I’m busy concentrating. It’s really enjoyable coming to the classes as we all get on as a group and we have such a laugh with our tutor.”

Sculpting in Clay tutor, Mark Whitaker has been involved with these courses at the college since 2001 but is now retiring, and he explained why he would miss them when he goes:

“The thing I have enjoyed most is seeing the students come out of themselves. As the lessons are practical they are quite informal and people tend to open up a lot and talk about things whilst they are working. We also have a lot of socialisation, humour and laughter in the lessons which helps to relax the students.

"I will miss seeing the looks on student’s faces when we open up the kiln and they see the end result of what they’ve been able to produce, and then hearing how impressed and proud their families have been of what they have created. It is hugely rewarding.”

All the courses are held in a relaxed and friendly environment, in small supportive groups at Woodley Hill House in Earley, Reading.

Rethink Mental Illness provide a community service, if you’re interested in finding out more about this, and the courses, please contact 01189892653

« Back

Get in contact

Ask our Enquiries & Admissions team by email or call on 01344 868600

get in touch