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Fresh start for Kim

PUBLISHED: 16:06 09 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010

GETTING divorced and your place of work closing down would be a major life crisis for many people. But for one Suffolk woman it proved to be just the beginning of a success story.

By Jessica Nicholls

jessica.nicholls@ecng.co.uk

GETTING divorced and your place of work closing down would be a major life crisis for many people.

But for one Suffolk woman it proved to be just the beginning of a success story that saw her gain the chance of a fresh start and a new life.

Today, Kim Churchyard from Barham's Way, Wickham Market, is nothing like the woman she was last year.

When she lost her job in a fish and chip shop, she grabbed the

opportunity to get more education in both hands and has not looked back.

After working in catering since she left school, the 42-year-old is now

following a new career in the

business world.

It is something she thought she would never see – with extremely low confidence and self-esteem, Kim decided she would not be able to cope with working with the public, so stayed behind the scenes working in pub kitchens and other places.

But thanks to tutors at Otley College, Kim now feels capable of anything and is looking forward to her new future with great enthusiasm.

Now she has an NVQ in

administration, she realises that there is a wealth of opportunity at her feet and is hoping to follow other courses in computing and maybe a GCSE

in psychology

Her new life began last year when her boss at what was the Golden Grenadier fish and chip shop in Melton decided he was selling up.

Kim went to the job centre to find out about training courses and was told about Otley College, which

provides courses to get people back into the workplace.

Kim said: "When they decided to sell up I decided it was now or never.

"If I did not change direction I would always be cleaning up after everyone else."

The grandmother of three, who also looks after her six-year-old son, left school with four CSEs. She said: "They were not particularly good ones and at that point when I left school I really did not want to work.

I was so scared of working with

people as my lack of confidence then was even worse than it is now.

"So I got married and was a

housewife for 14 years."

But Kim's tutors at Otley College were so impressed by her

achievements that she is now working in the administration department as well as invigilating at exams.

She said: "I never dreamed they would want me to work here. I really enjoy it and even like getting up at 6am."

n To find out about courses at Otley College: Contact 01473 785543 www.otleycollege.ac.uk or email to course-enquiries@

otleycollege.ac.uk

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