Joanne Hassan




After years of struggling with a lack of purpose, Joanne discovered her love of learning through a sustainable cookery course at her local WEA (Workers’ Educational Association). Joanne soon realised she wanted more in life and began volunteering at a local school helping to run the breakfast club. Fast forward two years and she is now studying to become a teaching assistant.

“Before finding the WEA, I was stuck at home. I had worked all my life but when I had my youngest two children, I felt like I’d lost my way.

“It was my friend who introduced me to the WEA and encouraged me to go to the cookery class. I went and absolutely loved it. I ended up volunteering at the school’s breakfast club.

“I moved on to Functional Skills English and Maths courses. I’m now training to be a teaching assistant and doing the placement in the children’s school. I want to progress to nursery nursing next.

“Attending WEA courses has been life-changing for me. I never thought attending one cookery class would bring me this far. I am now equipped with some amazing skills that have set me up for life.”

Rosalind Allison, Head of Communications at the WEA, said: “Joanne has turned her life around from struggling with feelings of depression and hopelessness. She managed to find the motivation to attend the initial cookery class which then paved the way to a promising career in teaching. Her story is inspirational to others, especially for those who have young children are struggling to get back into work.”