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Qualifications...

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cozyplants
cozyplants Scope Member Posts: 44 Courageous
Hi all, 

I'm 17. I've been out of school since I was 14 due to a mix of severe mental illness and physcial health problems. Since then, I've tried a variety of different types of schooling, including online school and self-directed home education. Unfortunately, I don't have any qualifications. This isn't because I'm not good at learning etc (I've been doing uni level online courses since I was 14 among other things), but because of how inaccessible educational environments can be. I also experienced a mental health crisis between 2018 and early 2021, which involved lots of hospital visits and a year in childrens homes. 

I moved from Essex to the Scottish Highlands almost 2yrs ago and it's safe to say that educational oppotunites are much more limited here. I planned to attend a social work based college course starting at the end of this month but my health is just not good enough, I barely have the energy to do the online parts, and I'm in too much pain to wheel myself around campus.

I was thinking about taking a look at the Open Uni, as I've done lots of open learn courses before. I'm not 100% sure if I will be physically well enough to engage with a course, but I'm going to consider it, But I wonder if anyone had alternative ideas? Even if it's not traditional education. I already do virtual volunteering with various charities, and attend parliementary consultations etc when I can, but I really want to have something to show for all the work I put into learning, like qualifications. 

Sorry for such a long post; it's a really tricky story to tell and I don't think I've even covered half of it! But let me know what you think and if there's any education, volunteering, personal development things you'd recommend!

Comments

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,162 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi @cozyplants - I haven't got the answers, but I'm hoping one of Scope's services for disabled young people may indeed have. Please see: https://www.scope.org.uk/employment-services/career-pathways/
    Please let us know how you get on if you decide to try it, & Good Luck!   :)
  • atlas47
    atlas47 Community member Posts: 238 Pioneering
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    Hi @crazyplants

    Have a look at this link, see if it might spark your interest.

    https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/about-the-trust/where-we-work/scotland

    Please keep us informed.
  • cozyplants
    cozyplants Scope Member Posts: 44 Courageous
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    @chiarieds @atlas47, thank you both! I have sent an enquiry to both of those :) hopefully I'll be able to find some guidance and support. I really appreciate it.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,162 Disability Gamechanger
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    You're most welcome....hope either or both links prove helpful. :)
  • atlas47
    atlas47 Community member Posts: 238 Pioneering
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    Hi @cozyplants

    With reference to your interest in studying with the OU.

    You can contact the OU, they offer a free study programme, based at degree level.

    Also, take a look at this link, about open learn.

    https://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses/full-catalogue

    There are plenty of options, out there for you.

    Another point, all under graduate’s, will face the same problems as you, in that, they will be studying off campus.

    Keep us updated, so we can continue to help, as much as possible.

    Best wishes
  • cozyplants
    cozyplants Scope Member Posts: 44 Courageous
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    @atlas47, thanks again, I really appriciate the info! I will have to think a little more about if OU is right for me.

    I got in contact with Princes Trust, but unfortuantely slept through a call from them. But I'll give them a call back tomorrow afternoon and see what they could offer. 

    Thank you for all your help. I'll be sure to keep you all updated. Take care :smiley:
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,162 Disability Gamechanger
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    May I speak as someone older, but not necessarily wiser. I always taught my children that whilst qualifications may matter, they don't always. For example, I should probably not ever have been accepted into physio school many moons ago (there were apparently 130+ applicants for just 30 places). During the interview with the head of the physio school + another male person, I got asked by him if my Dad was a Dr, were any of my relatives Drs, to which the answer was no. I was then honest (& a bit frustrated), so said much that I'd like to be a Dr., I struggled with chemistry, & I wouldn't like to be a GP that just sat behind a desk all day, I'd rather be physically able to help people. Well, I was accepted to train as a physio, & some 3 months later this Consultant Rheumatologist looked me straight in the eye & said, 'Contrary to popular belief, some Drs don't just sit behind their desks all day, they also lecture physio students.' Talk about wishing the ground would open! But, perhaps, I got a place because of my audacity, & therefore stood out.
    My eldest daughter is dyslexic, & due to this, & tbh she virtually gave up at school, she struggled to become a travel agent. She failed her first interview, but some time later got another. They said you have no experience, & she said, 'if you don't employ me, how can I get that work experience.' She became a travel agent.
    My son did courses in IT at a newly opened college for those aged 16+, & passed 2 aged 13; just one level below some of his tutors. His tutors used to ask him to check the examples given to help students, as he found fault with them. Where is he now....after completing his 2nd year at Uni, he felt it wasn't for him. I totally supported him with his decision. He's now happily working in retail following taking over our secondhand bookshop. His potential I could say is more, but he's happy, which is so much more important.
    My point; whilst qualifications can matter, they're not everything. You strike me as a most articulate 17 year old, & have so much to offer.....your life experience, & the strengths you've found despite ill health. Have confidence in yourself whatever you decide to do.....standing out can be a positive thing, & you certainly do. :)
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