Women of the year nomination (Farzana Kousar 2014)
Farzana has been a single mum of one for 16 years. She arrived in the UK 5 years ago with her 13 year old boy and without any knowledge of English. She had no family or friends here. Today, Farzana has just completed a CCTV course, the latest in a long line of courses. Her 18 year old is in the process of completing his A Levels at college after flying marks in his GCSEs. She is also an enthusiastic volunteer at Awaaz Community Radio, the local radio station connected to the learndirect centre. Farzana was the first lady, as well the first Asian lady, to complete a course in security services. She demonstrated great courage and perseverance doing a course that is traditionally frowned upon for ladies in Asian culture. She has applied those qualities in her personal life too, as a single parent starting with nothing and building a new, successful life for herself and her son. Her motivation and commitment have inspired both the learndirect staff and service users. She is working towards securing employment in the security services sector, and has completed courses in English, IT, security and First Aid. Farzana is full of praise for the learndirect centre’s leadership for making her feel like a part of a family, in a place where there was an atmosphere of calm and kindness. She is very grateful for the advice, guidance and respect she has been given by every member of staff. She feels she could not have progressed to where she is now if it had not been for the centre.