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Background to Kelvin College

Glasgow Kelvin College is the key provider of accessible vocational skills and core-skills learning in the north and east of the city. It delivers high-quality introductory to degree-level programmes to around 16,000 students each year from four campus buildings and through a large network of 44 community-based centres. Engaging with many communities which experience high levels of deprivation, the College works with partners and employers to create relevant industry-standard programmes and inclusive progression opportunities in a vibrant and sustainable environment for the learners, communities and stakeholders which it serves.


Nicola’s Learning Journey

Nicola is a woman in her 30s living in the North East of Glasgow. She has a young son who is on the autistic spectrum.

Initially, when approached to participate in the Community Achievement Awards developed by Glasgow Kelvin College, Nicola said that she did not wish to do so, as she had attempted numerous courses before and was unable to complete due to her caring responsibilities. In her own words she “did not wish to set herself up for another failure”. After giving the award due consideration, Nicola decided to participate at SCQF Level 4, setting herself goals of gaining more knowledge about autism by speaking to other parents, gaining a support network and friendships by attending The Happy Club and Multi Sports Club, which are clubs for children with autism and additional support needs.

Nicola successfully completed the Community Achievement Award at SCQF Level 4 with 4 credit points, having gained more knowledge and understanding of autism and a vast increase in confidence. She felt that not only had she made friends, but she also had a secure support network and felt for the first time she was not alone in dealing with her son. She found this to be a great help and also felt her son was happier.

Nicola started volunteering at The Happy Club as assistant treasurer and achieved the Community Achievement Award at SCQF Level 5 with 4 credit points. She set herself new goals of having a greater understanding of the running of The Happy Club by attending committee meetings. She also wanted to improve her team working skills, by working in conjunction with the treasurer and to increase her accountancy skills by volunteering as assistant treasurer.

Having completed her SCQF Level 5 Award, gaining new skills in accountancy and a deeper understanding of the running of The Happy Club, Nicola’s confidence grew further. This encouraged her to take on more responsibility within the club, often carrying out the treasurer role on her own when the official treasurer was unable to attend.

Nicola felt great pride in her achievements of gaining two awards and initially she was content within her volunteering role within the club. However, Nicola is now undertaking a PDA Education Support Assistance course at SCQF Level 6 with 48 credit points at Glasgow Kelvin College and is seeking out a new placement within the education sector, specialising in working with children with additional support needs.

Nicola is testament to education and learning in a community setting which gave her the skills and confidence to attend a mainstream college course. She has grown immensely in confidence and self-esteem, which has influenced her son, who says he loves attending The Happy Club. Jane Horne, Senior CLD Worker at Glasgow Kelvin College said: “Nicola is a role model for everyone in her community. Her journey will impact on numerous people, from her friends and family to the pupils she will support in her role as teaching assistant.”

When approached and asked to tell her story, Nicola stated, “Thanks so much for thinking of me Jane and I am more than happy to do this with you, as without you I don’t think I’d be where I am today. Thanks so much Jane as if it weren’t for doing the Community Achievement Awards with you I don’t know if I’d have gone back to college.”


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