Learning Stories

Learning has the power to change lives. Our growing collection of learning stories feature Bristol citizens who share how learning has made a difference to their lives and the many ways and places they have learnt - through friends, activities, formal education and work.


  1. Featured Learning Stories

  2. Learning Story for June - meet Elizabeth!
  3. Elizabeth from Bristol talks about how her hobby of making costumes led her to becoming a draper in the film and TV industry, working on some of the biggest dramas made in the West of England...
  4. Learning Story for May - meet Pip!
  5. I am an intern on a supported internship called Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH is all about learning skills to find paid work whilst working in three different placements, with support from a tutor and a job coach.
  6. Project SEARCH is a big change from going to college, as our classroom is in a council building and we go out to our work placements every day!
  7. My most recent placement was with the Performance and Customer Engagement team in Citizen Services at Bristol City Council. My mentor and team were very friendly and supportive, which helped me to learn a lot. Just a few of the things I have learnt about are customer service, using Microsoft Excel and managing my own workload.
  8. Some things have been easy for me to pick up, like communicating with my colleagues. Other things, like data entry, have been more difficult, but I have always stuck at it and have felt very proud when I have learnt new skills.
  9. I would really recommend this work placement to other Project SEARCH interns – it was wonderful!
  10. At the end of each day, I go back to the classroom with all of the other interns and we write diaries and talk about what we have been doing at work. This means we also get to learn things from other people’s experiences, as well as on our own placements.
  11. Most of all my work experience placements on Project SEARCH have taught me a lot about working life, and have made me feel much more confident about going out into the world of work!
  12. Learning Story for April − meet Annabel!
  13. I try to learn something new each year. Some years it’s something significant that I learn to love and continue to enjoy; other years it’s something that keeps my interest for a while but falls by the wayside. For me it doesn’t matter if the thing endures, it’s the act and the excitement of learning new things that I love.
  14. Last year I decided I’d learn about jewellery making. It’s something completely different to what I do in my job and it gave me a creative, hands-on experience that I wanted to try. I thought I’d make a few horrible necklaces and give it up, but this feels like one of the keepers.
  15. I started by buying a few beads, bits and chains. Then I started to look at some websites to learn some new techniques.
  16. I showed some friends some of the pieces I’d made and they all asked me if I’d do another for them or as presents for others.
  17. I started experimenting with other techniques; shaping metal, soldering, leather craft. Then I started talking to other people via social media and the internet and learnt loads more. I got inspiration from books and magazines. My Amazon and Ebay bill started to increase, as I bought materials to make new items, but I also sold most of what I made so I broke even or made a bit most of the time.
  18. I’ve learnt about marketing, about paint finishes and about rust. I learnt about tools and health and safety (mostly as a practical consequence of using the tools improperly!). I’ve learnt about Pinterest and other social media sites and I’ve learnt that lots of my friends have equally creative hobbies.
  19. This year I’m considering signing up for some formal classes, but until now I’ve learnt enough to make a few hundred pounds, met some really interesting people, made new friends and had countless hours of enjoyment – all from free websites, a couple of magazines and a whim that I like to learn something different each year.
  20. Learning Story for March − meet Mark!
  21. Learning a new skill as an adult can be a great challenge, especially when balancing life with a young family and a job. In 2013, I made the big decision to study for my diploma in shopping centre management.
  22. At the time I was a retail analyst at St David’s Shopping Centre in Cardiff, Wales. As a thirty-six year old dad, the thought of studying for the next two years was an extremely daunting prospect, but one that I needed to take on for our future.