Support staff from South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust received recognition for improving their literacy and numeracy skills at Huddersfield Technical College’s annual awards. The Trust was also recognised for it’s commitment to lifelong learning.
The support staff – mostly nursing assistants and health care support workers from St Luke’s hospital, Huddersfield – received certificates for the level 1 and 2 courses (equivalent to GCSE) in literacy and numeracy they’ve been studying for during and after work. The Trust has been offering staff the opportunity to study for literacy and numeracy courses at St Luke’s hospital since starting a pilot in April 2005. The courses are run by tutors from Huddersfield Technical College.
Lerina Stack, NVQ assessor from the Trust says, "It was decided to set up the courses because we realised that some of our staff had problems with their literacy and numeracy skills. Some of the staff had struggled all their life with these problems, but since coming on the courses they’ve increased their confidence and improved their written and verbal communication which has really helped them in their jobs.
Lerina continues, "Coming on the courses has been a big morale booster for the staff and some of them now want to go on to do further training. I’m delighted that their hard work has been rewarded at the awards ceremony and it’s great for the Trust to be recognised for its commitment to lifelong learning."
Nursing assistant, from the dementia care unit at St Luke’s, Veronica Matthews received special recognition at the awards as an individual who has shown extraordinary progress under difficult circumstances. Veronica said, "Doing the literacy and numeracy courses has really helped me a lot – especially since I haven’t been to school for so long! I’d definitely recommend the courses to other people."