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New year, new skills

If you are looking to kick-start a new career or take up a new hobby in 2024, there are lots of courses to choose from and many of them are free to join, so what are you waiting for?

Ealing Council’s employment, learning and skills team offers courses and workshops for adults and families who want to be inspired, get creative or gain qualifications.

You could study anything from childcare to computing or maybe you would rather take a course in art, philosophy or music. You might even want to learn a new language, there is something to suit everyone’s taste.

If you’re itching to get started, why not take a look at all the things on offer and sign up now. And if you don’t want to commit to a course, there are one-off activities too, including an afternoon of festive card and decoration making on Thursday 14 December at Southall Town Hall.

You can discover all the latest courses and information on the Learn Ealing website, and sign yourself up today.

‘A lifeline for people’

Tutor, Lisa McKinnon, runs a weekly creative writing class that attracts students in their 20s through to their 80s. The class enjoys writing and developing short stories, poetry, scripts and other creative techniques. Lisa tends to tailor the classes to the students and their main areas of interest.

She said: “This course can help to jump start your writing and it can be a lifeline for people too. The class is hybrid so some people choose to attend online because of personal circumstances but it’s mainly in person.

“It’s a place for people to express themselves and connect with others. Friendships are made and ideas are shared. We meet on a Saturday morning and it’s a great way to start the weekend. We sometimes meet for social events outside of class too.”

Lisa’s next creative writing course starts on Saturday 13 January 2024.

Naz Bacchus, of Greenford, has been a regular on Lisa’s creative writing course since 2018.

He said: “There’s no need to feel shy if you are thinking of joining. Everyone has something in them to write about. It could be a life experience or an idea that you’ve had.

“It’s a place to meet new people, make friends, share our work with another and to give and receive feedback.”

Naz has had a selection of his work published since joining the course which has helped to develop his writing skills and techniques.

Councillor Louise Brett, Ealing Council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “These courses offer a wide opportunity to learn new skills and polish up on your existing ones. They can help to build confidence too and it’s a great way to meet other people with similar interests. It’s really encouraging to hear positive feedback from our learners.”

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