My problems with writing and spelling got me into trouble quite a few times because you’re not proud of being illiterate.  You don’t go about telling everyone, and you don’t even think of asking anyone to help you.  I’d get important letters - from the tax man, say - and wouldn’t be able to reply to them.


My coach was encouraging, not critical or sarcastic, and we laughed a lot. She suggested I should have a sight test and - after a bit of resistance - I went to the optician and found out I needed glasses for reading and writing.  I learned the alphabet properly.  It was the first time in my life that I found out that every letter makes a particular sound. Soon I could start building up sequences of letters for words I couldn’t spell.  I learned how to use a dictionary and how to trust my instinct about when a spelling was right or wrong.  She helped me to get confident about filling in forms, too.


In August 2016 I went for an interview for a job as a picker in a warehouse.  The usual paperwork came out but this time I didn’t walk away.  I worked through it all very slowly and carefully.  Most of the tasks they tested me on involved things I had already done over and over again with Steph, like spotting mistakes or putting things in their correct alphabetical order.  There was a lot of writing to do but I just stuck with it until I’d finished.  At the end, I was told straight away that I’d got the job!  I’ve been working for 3 months now and am really happy.  I’ve made several new friends and as well as earning money, I feel I’m doing something useful.  Why not give FRED a try yourself?  I don’t think you’ll regret it!


I couldn’t have done it without FRED.  I’m so glad I took the plunge and went to them for help.  It taught me that you’re never too late to learn something new.