Debbie has been unemployed for over a year. She had to stop doing a cleaning job for the council due to difficulties at home. Debbie came on this course as a way to get the ball rolling to get back into employment. Debbie loves cleaning and wants to find another job in this area.

Due to her past, Debbie has low confidence and suffers from panic and anxiety attacks. Debbie was the first person at Liskeard Fire Station the day the course started and she told us that she was worried about meeting new people and taking part in the course. For Debbie, just turning up at the fire station was a massive step for her.

Throughout the week Debbie’s confidence visibly grew. Her team working skills improved as the week is very team working focussed. Debbie also had to push herself out of her comfort zone. Debbie said “normally if I’m unsure of something I will not do it as I am scared I will panic. However, on this course I was determined to push myself out of my comfort zone as I didn’t want to let the other people in my team down. After I’d pushed myself I felt a sense of achievement that I very rarely feel”. With that grew Debbie’s confidence to believe that she can achieve things if she puts her mind to it.

Debbie’s lack of trust was put to the test during the BA Search and Rescue drill, where it was imperative that the team trust each other. She said: “I have more confidence now, after working as part of a team. I can’t remember when I last work as part of a team. I now speak up more as the instructors and other members of the team encouraged me to do this. When I pushed myself out of my comfort zone I felt proud.”


One of the activities on the course involves participants planning and delivering a short presentation to the rest of the group. On this Debbie said “I didn’t think I would finish the course as I have difficulty reading and writing and I didn’t want to speak out in front of people. However, I didn’t want to let the rest of the team down and I received encouragement from my team mates.


During the final sessions Debbie signed up with Adult Education to study an English course at Cornwall College. Debbie also signed up with CMT to do courses in Employability and the Principles of COSHH that will give her the skills to get back into cleaning.


Debbie said “The Phoenix course has given me the kick and motivation that I needed to get back out there and do something for myself. I loved working as a team and I’m sorry the course has come to an end!