Working to improve literacy with life stories

To support social service workers who have problems with literacy and whose first language is not English, we will be working in partnership with the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) to deliver courses.

Susanne Kyle, care worker who attended the course and Jenny Feeney, who uses the day care service who she worked with and produced a life story for. The photo was taken in Meldrum House care home in East Kilbride.

We want to develop literacy skills to help workers improve recording at work and complete qualifications to meet our registration requirements.

WEA have many years of experience in supporting care workers to develop their literacy, communication and IT skills through learning delivered in the workplace. One of the innovative approaches they have developed is their highly successful Skills for Reminiscence course which uses reminiscence to build communication skills. The course has proven to be of great benefit to second language speaking staff, residents, families and the workplace.

The WEA works with small groups of around six people. The course runs once a week for eight weeks, two hours per session. During the course WEA supports each learner to develop reminiscence techniques to help them collect the life stories of one of their residents and their family members. This provides a great opportunity for the learners to build their relationships with residents and their families and practice their written and oral communication skills in a meaningful project. The tutor supports them in writing the stories, editing them and using their often newly acquired IT skills to produce a life story booklet of the residents in their care.

The WEA individually assesses and addresses each learner’s needs. The learner will achieve an accredited SCQF Level 3 Communication Writing module or similar for completing the course.

Courses will run on request. For more information contact Archie Campbell, Learning and Development Officer, WEA on 0131 2263456 or email

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