Having attended English classes at Dundee International Women’s Centre, Ummay found a lot of support in the staff there. This encouraged her to overcome new challenges she faced and enrol on a Childcare course, which then led to more training and a new job as a Childcare Practitioner.
She shares her inspiring story here…
Finding guidance and support at DIWC
In 2010, my friend had told me about the Dundee International Women’s Centre and all the classes it offers.
I wanted to improve my English language skills so I enrolled on one.
The Centre has a crèche that all learners can use, which is such an asset. Without this, I wouldn’t have been able to attend the English classes as I didn’t have alternative childcare for my daughter.
Being at the Centre made me feel part of a loving family. I had so much guidance and support from the staff. I was astonished to see so many amazing women in one place, some who became my role models on my learning journey.
I loved attending my classes and looked forward to coming each week.
With the crèche staff being so friendly and welcoming, I didn’t feel sad leaving my daughter which meant I could concentrate on my learning.
My journey into Childcare
After 4 months I decided to join the NPA Childcare class at the Centre.
Seeing the staff working in the crèche had inspired me to gain a qualification in Childcare. I hoped that one day I could have an opportunity to work in this field, as I love children.
I found the NPA Childcare course so interesting and managed to complete it ahead of time.
I volunteered at the centre for 6 months, and while there, I got a phone call from the Childcare Manager, Irene. She asked me if I’d like a job as a support worker in the crèche.
At the time I was at my daughter’s nursery and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was in shock! My husband was so happy and proud of me.
I accepted straight away and my journey working in the crèche started in 2014.
Overcoming challenges and finding a new job
After a year, the Centre received funding for the crèche staff to work towards an SVQ3 in Childcare Learning and Development, which would qualify the support workers to become Childcare Practitioners.
My colleagues encouraged me to apply and I started the course.
I knew that becoming a Childcare Practitioner would mean that I would have more responsibilities at work, but I felt the time was right for me to take on this new challenge.
I gained so much knowledge by doing this qualification and my confidence increased as I learned new things.
When I registered myself with the SSSC as a Childcare Practitioner, I felt so proud of all that I had achieved.
Last October, I got a job with Dundee City Council Nursery.
Leaving my family at the DIWC
When I left the crèche and the Centre, I felt that I was leaving my family. I cried for days.
I still miss everyone so much and can never forget the help and support I received.
My mentors through this journey have been; Amina (who was my best Manager and one of the greatest people I have ever met in my life), Javairia (my colleague, who looked after me and taught me things in the crèche), Sabina (my Supervisor who guided me throughout the years) and Fathima (my colleague who always supported me).
My advice to others is to work hard to achieve your dreams and don’t be afraid of the challenges along the way.
DIWC literally changed my life. I have grown as a person and have gained so much knowledge and confidence that I feel I can face anything in life!
By Ummay Lubna, Childcare Practitioner