Issue date
Rhiannon Jones is a teaching assistant in a special needs school. Here she tells us about how taking a WULF-funded photography course has given her new professional skills and inspired her to continue learning.
WULF Project gives teaching assistant new opportunities

I’ve been a UNISON member for about 3 and a half years now, and luckily, have never needed their support.

Recently, our local UNISON schools rep asked me if I would be interested in taking part in a Picture Exchange Communications (PECS) course.  She told me that our local UNISON WULF Project were funding places to do the Level 1 online workshops – I jumped at the chance!

I wanted to do the course due to working in a special needs school - to help the children I work with.

I probably wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for UNISON and their support.  I am already saving to continue with my part time Open University degree, and my school is unable to fund this type of training.

Unison provided me with all the details I needed and were able to help me apply for the course... and they funded my place!

Covid 19 has meant that I haven’t been able to use it in school yet, but I’m looking forward to putting what I have learnt into practice!  I would fully recommend the PECS course to others - I have told other colleagues about it and some are looking into the course themselves.

Looking to the future, I have been speaking with the WULF Project Managers to explore other courses (similar to this) that can help with the job I am working in.  I am going to look into the level 2 PECS training and research how I can complete my Higher Level Teaching Assistant studies – hopefully UNISON can help me with this too!

I’ve had a bad experience of learning in the past, which has turned me off pursuing my teaching dreams, but this experience has inspired me to continue my studies.

Opportunities to learn with WULF

Whether you’re interested in photography or computer skills, Welsh or electronics, WULF funding can support you in your learning journey. Take a look at how you can get WULF training during coronavirus or speak to the Union Learning Rep where you work for more information.