Declan Mullaney from Geevagh, Sligo, felt lonely, was unemployed and didn’t socialise before coming to the Sligo’s National Learning Network (NLN) on Bridge Street. Declan has now built-up his confidence, completed certified training and is hopeful of securing a job.
“My life before joining NLN Sligo was very lonely. I was not working and dealing with depression at the time. I also suffer with a stammer which affected my confidence. Because of this I did not go out much, kept to myself and didn’t socialise. This all caused me to lose contact with friends and I found this difficult.
My occupational therapist suggested that I should think about doing a course to further my education and allow me an opportunity to meet new people. I was nervous at the thought of taking on something new. I had a meeting at the local Intreo office and the lady suggested the National Learning Network (NLN) as I wanted to do a course that would help me get a job. When I visited the Sligo centre, I was made feel very welcome and all the courses were discussed with me. I liked the fact that everyone can work at their own pace and the instructors are there to give individual help. As I had not enjoyed my school days, I thought this kind of course would suit me.
I first did the Job Start course and received a major award, which helped me to move on to the Level 4 in Customer Service and Retail. It had a really good mix of classroom work and being out two days a week on a placement with an employer. The tutor sourced our work experience depending on what our interest were. Some of us worked in catering, shops, offices and hospitals. I always loved cars and motor bikes, so I did my work placement in a local garage. I really enjoyed doing a job I loved.
My tutor also arranged for me to complete a Safe Pass course and a Manual Handling course which were not part of the programme, but would help me greatly with my work in the garage. After getting really good reviews from my employer, I have been promised a job. I am delighted with this outcome and it would not have happened without the support and encouragement I got from my tutor Elaine and all at Sligo NLN.
Since joining NLN I have more confidence in dealing with people and have made many lifelong friends. I was encouraged to get a driver’s licence and to join the local Men’s shed. All of these things have had a really positive impact on my life and it is very different to the one I had before. I am now a very outgoing and positive person, and I am looking forward to my future now.”