Fire Brigade Unions (FBU) Member Jane Gummery has put her passion for learning into practise and has just gained her Degree with the Open University. Jane is one of the FBUs more experienced Union Learning Reps (ULR) and has been supporting members for the last 10 years and she is now the Regional Education and Learning Organiser in the unions Region 7 (West Midlands area) as well as the Control Rep.
Jane has been one of the unions flag bearers for learning in the West Midlands and says:
I have always been interested in learning and encouraging others to lifelong learn. Following my recruitment to ULR I attended the first Learning Reps School at Moreton-in-Marsh and this is where I was given information about the Open University.
This was at about the same time that Regional Control Rooms were being discussed and as I had no qualifications since I left school at 16 and should I not secure a position I was not sure where I would go. I had been encouraging others to learn but so far not done so myself so I decided to update my skills and qualifications."
After improving her English qualifications at the local Adult Education Centre Jane took the plunge and enrolled onto a degree course with the OU. She adds:
I received advice and encouragement from my then FBU Project Support Organiser, Graham Humphrey, and after 8 years of studying alongside some trials and tribulations - including the loss of my mother - I graduated with a BSc Open Honours."
Jane has been one of the FBU’s keenest ULRs and has completed nearly all their Distance Learning courses. She is currently studying the unions 'Understanding Autism' course.
She advocates that "you can gain a lot from the distance learning courses the FBU provide as can your friends and family members" and she hopes that more FBU Members will benefit in years to come.