WAES Learner leaps into work after 19 years

Elizabeth-Ann Murphy gained her first job in nineteen years after studying several Childcare courses at Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES).

“I was so proud of both my sons and I just wanted them to be proud of me”, with that in mind Elizabeth-Ann Murphy decided to turn her life around and embarked upon pursuing a career in childcare.

Elizabeth-Ann, a single mum who has lived in Westminster all her life endured tremendous hardship and has overcome many struggles in her life. She left school at sixteen and worked in retail for many years until she had her son. Since then, she hasn’t worked in nineteen years and over the years had lost complete confidence in herself and abilities.

She had always heard about courses offered at WAES but never anticipated she would be studying on one of them. With much hesitation, she built up the courage and made the leap to come into the Amberley Road Centre and enrol onto a Level1 Childcare course.

After successfully completing the course, she not only gained a qualification but also gained a boost in confidence which lead her to study Level 2 in Childcare. Once she had successfully completed Level 2, her tutor suggested she progress further onto the Level 3 Diploma in Childcare. Elizabeth-Ann laughed at the very suggestion and dismissed it because she never thought she’d be capable of achieving a Diploma. But with continued support from her tutor she decided to take on the challenge and is now well on her way to completing the course. As a direct result of studying at WAES, she was able to secure her first job in nineteen years.

“I have loved every aspect of studying at WAES; it’s such a warm and welcoming place. It has equipped me with the skills and much more importantly with the self confidence I yearned and needed in order to move my life forward and secure a job

I was so frightened of the prospect of taking on a job after 19 years of not working but with the encouragement of my sons I just thought we all have to let go of the umbilical cord someday and when the opportunity arouse I grabbed it with both hands,” says Elizabeth-Ann.

Elizabeth-Ann has much to look forward to with a new found career in childcare and her childcare graduation ceremony in July where she will be awarded her Diploma certificate by her long-term inspiration, Constance Briscoe; first black female judge in the UK and author.


Date: 29th April 2009

Enquiries: Rubina Begum 020 7641 7847

Editor’s Notes

1. Westminster Adult Education Service (WAES) is one of the most diverse and dynamic communities in Britain. WAES reflects that diversity and dynamism. We are one of the largest adult education providers in the country.
2. The service is part of the education department of the City of Westminster. It is funded by the London Central Learning and Skills Council. Our board of governors includes student representatives, elected members of the city council and members from the community and local organisations.
3. We have strong roots in the community, running courses where they are needed through partnerships with the local authority and other community and education bodies.
4. To ensure the quality of our courses and support for students, WAES is inspected by the Adult Learning Inspectorate. On courses leading to national qualifications, we must also meet the high standards required by examination bodies.