A Ceredigion resident has set out on a new career path after receiving support by Workways+.

Mary Davies, who is 64 years old, had to choose between her business and her role as the main carer for her elderly and increasingly fragile mother.

Mary had started her own domestic cleaning business and developed it to the point where she had ten loyal customers. However, like many people who have family care responsibilities, Mary followed her heart and gave up her business.

Always motivated to plan for the future she studied ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’ through a home based training course. This was satisfactory but Mary felt it was not enough to prepare her for work.

Mary contacted the Ceredigion Workways+ team for support. Workways+ is a service which helps people that are not in employment to access funded face to face and online training, work experience, volunteering opportunities and jobs.

Workways+ assigned Mary a mentor, Wendy Fitzpatrick, to work with her on a one to one basis. Wendy helped Mary identify her training needs which focused on getting her up to speed with using computers and digital media.

Wendy then sourced an IT training course that was both local to Mary and that Workways+ could fund. The ‘European Computer Driver’s License Course’ (ECDL) delivered by Dysgu Bro, a Ceredigion County Council service, made a positive impression on Mary.

Mary Davies said: “Initially it was a big step attending the Cardigan computer course in the evening and leaving mum for a few hours – I hadn't done that for six years. Caring is stressful and affects how you feel. Time for myself was in short supply. Over the last few years I had become increasingly aware of the future and what I would be doing. The ECDL course was beneficial on a number of levels. It taught me much needed new skills and through having to be at a place on time and mixing with new people it put me in a work type environment. I began to relax, manage stress and became confident about my future. I can’t thank Workways+ enough.”

Mary’s goal is to use her new IT skills to help her teach English from home, and Workways+ continues to support her.

Workways+ Ceredigion is staffed by officers from Ceredigion County Council and is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

If you would like to find out more about the service, call one of our Workways+ mentors on 01545 574193, or for another area visit the Workways website.