Spotlight on Independent Living Skills – Ellie's story

Spotlight on Independent Living Skills – Ellie's story

1 March 2022

Ellie joined us in 2017 to study our Independent Living Skills (ILS) course which opened doors and offered great new opportunities for her to progress onto Level 1 Childcare and Health and Social Care at Coleg Gwent.

ILS courses are suitable for students from a variety of educational backgrounds, and the courses cover a wide range of skills. They’re designed to teach you everything you need to know when living by yourself and preparing for employment. You can’t learn most of these things in a normal classroom, but that’s where ILS is different. At each of our five campuses, our ILS classrooms are purpose-built, and the course is designed to teach you these vital everyday skills.

Our Independent Living Skills courses focus on independence, health and wellbeing, employability, and community. So, from cooking, diet and exercise, to managing your money, planning your career, and building your confidence and self-esteem; our ILS courses will set you up for success. They’ll give you the skills you need to live independently in your community and get you ready for the world of work.

As part of the course, you could take part in work placements, fundraising and community events; study something that interests you personally; or try new things like arts and crafts, animal care, sport, or photography. You’ll also improve your literacy, numeracy and essential skills, giving you everything you need to progress to another college course and follow your dreams like Ellie.

Ellie’s story

“During the ILS course, I learnt how to cook basic meals from scratch, like mac and cheese and curries; how to make a bed; and the basics of gardening. I learnt how to keep organised and budget my money, as well as the importance of timekeeping and much more. I even volunteered at a nursery, which gave me confidence to work in this type of setting.

The course I’m currently studying is Level 1 Childcare and Health and Social Care. After I finish this course, I hope to continue volunteering with Torfaen Play Scheme and Cwmbran Centre for Young People (CCYP). I started volunteering at play scheme as a play helper and have continued to volunteer in my spare time. I’ve recently also started volunteering with CCYP in the evenings. I started out by asking if there was anything that needed doing when I went there as a young person and now, I help with things like sweeping the floors, mopping, and wiping counters and sides down. I also help keep the garden neat and tidy by litter picking.

I hope that one day I can become a staff member at CCYP. Volunteering has helped me overcome barriers I faced and has helped me gain confidence. I’ve now gained experience working with all age groups, helping me understand the challenges that come with each age group. This will help me in the future when I eventually get a job because I’ll know what to expect.

After my college course ends, I’ll be volunteering four times a week and I’ve just moved into my own house to live independently. If it wasn’t for the skills and confidence ILS and Coleg Gwent have given me to live on my own, I don’t think I’d be able to do what I’m doing today!”

Follow in Ellie’s footsteps

Ellie’s personal tutor and ILS teacher, Janelle Worrell, is proud of her achievements, resilience, hard work, and the skills she has learnt as an ILS student. Ellie has overcome many barriers and her confidence has improved greatly, ensuring that she’s able to live independently and work in our community. If you want to achieve this too, Coleg Gwent is the place for you!

As a diverse and inclusive college with wonderful supportive staff, learners with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) are welcome at Coleg Gwent. It’s a fantastic place to help you learn and grow! Find out more about our ILS courses today and apply now to join our friendly college community.