Monday, September 22, 2008

Lone Parent Advisor Part 2

So, because the money hadn't gone out of the bank for the ECDL course, I got onto the college and they agreed to hold off on taking the payment until I asked the LPA about having it paid for me. That was on Wednesday but I didn't manage to get hold of the LPA until this morning. She said tell the college to take the money and she would have the money put into my account. Hang on. I swear she told me that they couldn't reinburse me after I had paid it.

See if you can keep up with this. When I went to see her the first time and I had booked and paid for the course, they couldn't pay it. But now I have already seen her once and it is on record that we have discussed training and I have contacted her again about the course, now they can pay it. I was flumoxed, so she said it again.
"Yes, I understand what you are saying, you couldn't agree to have it paid the first time, but now you can. I just don't understand why." So she went into again and I'm none the wiser except that I understand that I can tell the college to take the payment and I will get it back from the jobcentre.

That was the first hurdle. Onto the second, the Sage accounting course. The only college offering Sage is City Of Bristol and it's on an evening in the centre of Bristol which is no good to me. Filton haven't offered the course for 2 or 3 years. Both colleges offer the AAT NVQ during the day which I can manage. The only other way I can do the Sage is buying a home learning course. The LPA thought that was a bad idea. Then, hurrah, she suggests I do the NVQ first and then the Sage later on when I have passed my driving test and have a car.

Apparently you can only apply for funding for one course per year. The ECDL is being payed as a one off out of office funds because it is a small amount, local with no transport or childcare fees. I should enrol for the NVQ which starts in February and apply for funding for that. In the meantime I have to ask the college if I can apply for a hardship grant.

So, this morning I'm feeling quite positive, as though I am actually getting somewhere, even though there's a lot of confusion along the way. lol

Sunday, September 21, 2008

40th Wedding Anniversary

Happy 40th Anniversary Mum and Dad

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lone Parent Advisor

I did finally get in touch with the Lone Parent Advisor at the Jobcentre. I was told that I had had an appointment back in June which I had not kept. Probably because nobody ever told me about it. So I made a new appointment for yesterday and toddled off there for a chat.

She was surprised that I had contacted them and was there of my own accord rather than someone who had been summoned. So, don't lone parents want to make something of themselves then? I don't want to sit on my bum on benefits until I'm told "You've had enough hand outs, go and get a job!". I want to spend the next couple of years getting as well trained as I can, so that I can earn a decent wage for when I do have to support myself without help. Also I have spent most of my life being dependant on a husband and being made to feel like a sponger. I don't want that ever again. Even if I were to settle down/cohabit/marry again I want to be independant and provide for my own kids. She was also surprised that I work nine hours a week when I don't have to. She pointed out that I was effectively working for twenty quid a week. I don't look at it that way. I see it as earning a wage so that the government doesn't have to give me as much.

So, I found out that I can have course fees, transport and childcare fees paid for me. I also found out that I shouldn't have paid the course fee for the ECDL course I just paid for, doh! oh well, too late, chalk that one up to experience. As I was an accounts clerk in my life before kids, she advised that I take a Sage Accounting course. OK, that sounds good. I can only find one course at one college in central Bristol on a Monday evening. Not so good. I don't fancy public transport into and out of the city and the walk to the bus station at gone 9pm. It's too late to get back for the kids too. I looked online and you can buy Sage courses to do at home, so I'll have to find out if they'll pay for that.

Looking through the college course books though, I thought, why not go the whole hog, forget the Sage and do the NVQs 2, 3 and 4. I can do the crash course of 18 weeks for NVQ 2, 3 days a week, move the ECDL which is local, from the Friday morning to Monday evening and drop a shift at work. Then move on to the next two levels. Should take a couple of years. The NVQ starts in February so I've got until then to procrastinate. lol I wonder why the LPA didn't advise the NVQ though?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Stitching Progress

Noahs Ark by Tina Wenke, CrossStitcher magazine issue 195.


For new nephew or neice due in November. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Stitching Progress

Dracolair Ouroborus


Most of the whole stitch done. I've ran out of a couple of colours, so had to stop until I can get down to Hobbycraft again.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

X & Y - Coldplay

Trying hard to speak and
Fighting with my weak hand
Driven to distraction
It's all part of the plan
When something is broken
and you try to fix it
Trying to repair it anyway you can

I dive in at the deep end
and you become my best friend
I want to love you but I don’t know if I can
I know something is broken
and I’m trying to fix it
Trying to repair it anyway I can

Oooohh, oooohh
Oooohh, oooohh

You and me are floating on a tidal wave… together
You and me are drifting into outer space
and singing

Oooohh, oooohh

You and me are floating on a tidal wave… together
You and me are drifting into outer space
You and me are floating on a tidal wave… together
You and me are drifting into outer space
and singing

Oooohh, oooohh
Oooohh, oooohh

Friday, September 5, 2008

New Deal For Lone Parents

New deal for lone parents
New Deal is a government strategy for getting people back into work. A lone parent, whose youngest child is under 16, and is either not working or is working under 16 hours a week, can get help under the New Deal for Lone Parents scheme. There is access to a Personal Adviser, who will advise what funding is available towards course fees, travel, and childcare. He or she will be there as a contact throughout the whole New Deal programme.

It's their job to:

Get to know a little about the parent so you end up with a job you can enjoy
Calculate how much better off you could be in a job
Discuss with the parent what kind of job you would like to get
Draw up an action plan to help you get that job
Help you look and apply for suitable jobs
Help you find training opportunities
Help you find and organise registered childcare
Help you with expenses that may occur during your job search
Explain which benefits you will be entitled to once you start work
Continue to offer the parent help and advice even after you have found work.

Sounds great doesn't it? It would be even better if I could get them to answer the darn phone!

Bad Marriage - A Life Lesson

A friend recently asked me "Why did I stay in my marriage for so long?" My answer was because I didn't know how to leave. And that was the main reason. I can remember countless times finding myself at the end of my tether and thinking "If I had somewhere to go, I'd be gone". That was my main excuse for not going.

I can't say that I regret the last ten years. I wouldn't have DDK8 for one thing. But also despite being unhappy for so long, I have learned a great deal. I have learned what it is like being on the receiving end of passive agressive behaviour and re-evaluated the way I treat people myself. I think that the experience has made me a better person and that maybe I was supposed to endure it as sort of a life lesson. Instead of acting so much on impulse, I take time to think about what to say to people before I say it, I have become less selfish, less hot headed, more thoughtful.

There are traits that have been repressed that I may revert back to though. I still have a sarcastic sense of humour, I'm still a disorganised untidy person, although cleaner and more house proud than before. Most important I feel, is that I have rediscovered my sense of fun.

I have vowed never to marry again. Most would probably think that's because I couldn't trust another man again. Some might think that if the right one came along and after a long time of learning about him and being sure and be able to trust again, that that might change. At the moment, it's mostly because I don't want to risk putting my girls through another step family situation. But in truth, it's because I'm scared that with a decent bloke, without the control I have endured, I might go back to being the person I don't like.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

DDJ is 13!