A 17- year-old from Tranent has found the lockdown to be beneficial to her learning. Chloe just successfully completed two accredited assessments in Animal Care in one day.
The journey to obtaining accredited skills has been a challenging one for Chloe. For a long time, she did not feel comfortable at school as she felt overwhelmed when she was around people. It was only when she went to see a counselor that Chloe discovered that her stress was caused by anxiety. This realisation proved to be a turning point for the 17-year-old.
After being diagnosed with anxiety, Chloe was able to be referred to appropriate support. She soon started using the services of both East Lothian Works and Bridges Project and has not looked back since.
As she is interested in animals, Chloe decided to undertake the Animal Course training programme offered by Bridges Project. The training programme aims to give young people social skills while increasing their knowledge of animals and obtaining a certificate for their CV.
Since starting with Bridges Project in the middle of last year, she has now completed three units of Animal Care. The fact that the 17-year-old completed both the Health and Safety unit and Feeding and Watering unit in one day remotely on her own during lockdown has impressed her tutor, Susan Kerr.
‘It is very impressive. This proves that Chloe can manage her workload on her own and keep good routines. She has been a joy to work with’, says Susan.
Chloe also says she is very pleased with her achievements and claims that the lockdown actually made it easier for her to work on her assessments.
‘It is quite relaxing to study during lockdown. I have been able to do things at my own pace and it has given me something positive to focus on which can help me move towards my future’, she says.
The 17-year-old has also enjoyed her time with Bridges Project in general. In addition to her Animal Care units, Chloe has also completed a self-evaluation course. Through these courses, she says she has met new friends and been able to talk to people she wouldn’t have talked to before.
‘Bridges Project has helped me become more confident, especially when talking in front of other people and when expressing what I want to say’, says Chloe.
Her tutor nevertheless wants to emphasise that the charity has only been one of several actors who have played their part.
‘East Lothian Works and her counselor have also helped Chloe a lot and done a great job’, stresses Susan.
East Lothian Works has also organised for Chloe to volunteer in Oxfam’s Haddington shop. This has been another good experience which has given the 17-year-old more responsibility and an insight into the retail world.
Even though she has been enjoying her volunteering experience, Chloe still hopes that she can continue to do something with animals in the future. She already takes care of her dogs, who she takes out for walks regularly. In addition, she has a rabbit.
‘Chloe is absolutely devoted to her rabbit and it must have a lovely time with her. She is very caring and loves animals’, says Susan.
Chloe is now hoping to study something related to animals at college in the near future.
‘I believe I will be nervous going to college but it will be much more enjoyable than it would have been before. I know I can do it now’.