Local people are benefitting from the wide range of free Distance Learning courses offered by Solihull College & University Centre and Stratford-upon-Avon College.
Andy Wardlow, a Police Constable with West Mercia Police for 16 years, was recently looking for new education opportunities to prepare for work after retirement.
“I found out about the courses through work” he comments. “A Superintendent mentioned how good they were and a colleague of mine had actually done a couple of the courses and really enjoyed it, so I decided to give it a go!”
The courses are designed to be flexible and can be adapted to learners’ busy schedules. They can be paper based or completed online. Andy comments: “I really enjoyed the distance learning as I liked learning at my own pace and my own experiences helped inform my work. I had the paperwork delivered to me and then I submitted it to the relevant tutor when I was finished. You then get feedback telling you how you have done.”
Andy has taken two of the Distance Learning courses offered so far: “I’ve studied Mental Health Awareness and Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace. One course was for a month, and one was done over three months. I did most of the work during my days off and with three kids as well it can be a challenge. You do have to put the work in, but I enjoyed it. I’m actively waiting for another course!”
The courses can prepare learners for new employment opportunities or for personal development in their current work. Andy describes what the courses have done for him: “They’ve really benefitted me in my current role as the course covers topics such as depression and schizophrenia and this can really help as part of police work regularly involves dealing with people suffering from various mental health issues. But it will also help me prepare for the future as I am currently looking at areas I can work in after retirement so this can open up my options more. It’s also just been really good to have something to work towards.”