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‘Courses on FutureLearn help me face the personal challenges of my daily life’

Jacqui, 58, from Pratts Bottom – a small village on the outskirts of London – talks to us about how courses on FutureLearn.com can help people cope when illness affects day to day life.

Jacqui got in touch with us via yourstories@futurelearn.com to share why she signed up to courses offered on FutureLearn.com. Her choices were driven by illness that she and her family have been experiencing and the courses will help them to gain a better understanding of the personal challenges they are facing.

Jacqui tells us her story…

Jacqui J

“In 2000 I took ill-health retirement and this year developed secondary cancer in my abdomen. On top of that, my husband has Parkinson’s disease and so being at home together we decided that we needed some mental stimulation, which is why we signed up for courses on FutureLearn.com.

“I joined FutureLearn because I love learning new things and I think that the variety of courses will help me to understand my life and the problems in it. I am also hoping that it will improve my mental health.

“I am already signed up to eight courses on FutureLearn including: ‘Exploring anatomy: the human abdomen’ by the University of Leeds and ‘Good brain, bad brain: Parkinson’s disease’ by the University of Birmingham to help my husband and I gain a better understanding of our illnesses. I am also signed up to ‘The mind is flat: the shocking shallowness of human psychology’ by the University of Warwick because my family and I all suffer from depression and so any understanding of it is useful and good for discussion.

“I think that FutureLearn can help people like my husband and I who have had to leave work because of ill health. When you find a course that relates to your illnesses like I have, it will give you the confidence to talk with doctors and experts and understand your illness better. What’s more, you can take the course when you want, for as long as you want and can skip any bits that don’t interest you!

“Education was not always such an important part of my life. I went to a local secondary school near the village which had no sixth form and so I had no expectations. When you left school you either worked in an office or a shop until you got married – then you didn’t have to worry about a job!

“I left school with the equivalent of eight GCSEs, four of which were marked below a C grade. I also had a typing and shorthand qualification and with this I left to go to work aged 17.

“In 1978, I started an undergraduate degree with The Open University and after three and a half years made the decision to go and study at university full time – it was the start of my passion for learning.

“The next course I am planning to sign up to is the University of East Anglia’s ‘Preparing for uni’ to help my son who is starting university in 2014. FutureLearn is fun, educational and accessible and I would certainly recommend it to anyone in the same position as me!”

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