Jo Simnor began her journey at Alt Valley by enrolling on an Introduction to Hairdressing course with a friend.
While she wanted to learn something new, there was another reason Jo wanted to acquire a new skill: her children have autism, and so going to the hairdressers’ is often a traumatic event. By learning how to do hair, Jo would be able to cut their hair for them, and save the stress of going to a salon.
As she made her way through the introductory course, Jo realised how much she enjoyed hairdressing and how she wanted to progress with it. She was pointed in the direction of moving onto a formal National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) through Alt Valley, where she would learn the skills needed to begin a career in hairdressing.
Although initially unsure about a learning qualification because of her dyslexia, Jo was supported and guided by staff at Alt Valley Skills Centre, and is now in the middle of completing her NVQ Level 2.
Jo said: ‘It’s a lovely college; it’s small and very hands-on so you get the support you need, and the staff are so accommodating.’
To progress with their training, the hairdressing students need training doll heads, scissors, and other equipment. The community champions managed to secure funding to buy the equipment, meaning the students have what they need to practice.
Jo was recently nominated for an Achievement Award at the Adult Learning Services Celebration of Achievement event, held on 22nd July. She’s even talking about starting her Level 3 qualification next!
A huge well done to Jo!