Jackie Butterworth

Learning for Health Award


Learning for Health Award

Jackie was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2013 and had surgery to have a stoma formed the following year. Attending support groups and courses with the WEA helped rebuild her confidence and create sense of control over her life. Jackie has since come on leaps and bounds and even set up her own group to support others in a similar position.  

Having struggled with my self-image for many years, I found it difficult to adapt to life with my stoma. My husband left and my son and I were told we had to leave our home. I started to suffer badly from anxiety and stopped going out.   

It was my local stoma nurse who helped turn things around by sitting with me and listening to me talk. After that, I joined group called Friendship Friday, run by the WEA at Community House in Selby, and a trauma group called BVocal. This provided a safe environment where could talk, work through our traumas and create art. At the end of the course, we showcased our work in gallery. Mine was about my journey; my main piece was with my stoma.   

I am getting stronger all the time, attending different courses, seeing a therapist every week, and even volunteering for things. Setting up my own group, Second Chance Ostomy, has been a huge step and really taken me out of my comfort zone. I have slowly built the confidence to open up about my life and share more freely with people what has happened to me.    

Katie Easey, Director of Education: Community Learning at WEA, said:“Jackie turned her life around by meeting others who were in similar positions. Attending a number of WEA courses boosted her self-esteem and outlook on life. She gained the confidence she needed and now spends her days helping others to do the same.”