Learning good mental health with the union

Gill Hopkins works in Unite’s South West Regional Office in Bristol as a Personal Assistant to Regional Secretary Steve Preddy. After encouragement from Regional Learning Organiser Tazim Ladhu, Gill signed up for a Level 2 distance learning course through Learn with Unite.

Gill Hopkins Unite

Gill never thought she would be able to study, and considered herself too old to learn anything new. However going through the course it gave Gill increased confidence and awareness of her own capabilities.

Gill said:

Tazim mentioned the courses available to staff on a number of occasions and when I eventually had time to give this due consideration, I decided on the Mental Health Awareness course.”

I chose this because at the time I was going through a difficult time myself and having support from my local mental health care trust gave me an incentive to look further into the subject matter.

The course inspired Gill to expand her learning beyond the online sessions and she soon found herself in a position where she was keen to learn more, outside of the course programme.

Gill bought a few books to build on the issues explored in the course.

Gill explained:

One of the books was called “10 Days in a Mad House” by Nellie Bly.   This gave me an insight to the issues experienced particularly by women in the 1800’s – incredible times !!”

I had to approach the course with a degree of self-motivation.  At the end of the day, it boosted my confidence because I really didn’t think I could study.”

Gill has now completed the course and has the certificate to prove it, she said she will be encouraging her colleagues and Unite members to become involved with the project and the learning opportunities the union offers.

If it wasn’t for Taz I wouldn’t have known about the work she does, and I don’t think I am alone in this.”

To find out more about courses like the one that Gill took go to unionlearn’s The Skills Network page and take a look at all the free Level 2 qualifications available.