Karen has overcome progressive health issues to find a new interest and passion for the creative.
Over the years I’ve had a variety of jobs, from nursery nurse in the Special Care Unit at Croydon University Hospital, I worked at the Home Office as a day nanny and then at a Doctors surgery for 12 years but then I was forced to retire as my osteoarthritis made working near impossible.
If I’m honest I was feeling pretty low about things but one day I brought my granddaughter to Croydon Clocktower where CALAT were having an open day and I thought that I had nothing to lose by enrolling so I did.
I have always been interested in art but like so many people was told I wasn’t any good at it when I was at school, being older and, I think, wiser, I ignored those voices and took the plunge…I can’t tell you how happy I am that I did.
I had to miss the first lesson and when I arrived for the next one I almost turned around and left. Everyone seemed to know exactly what they were doing and I was afraid I was out of my depth but Mark, our tutor, really put me at ease and allowed me to express myself at my own pace, if it wasn’t for him I don’t think I’d have had the confidence to see the course through to the end. I’ve made lots of new friends at CALAT, it’s great because nobody is here because they have to be, they are here because they want to be and that makes for a really lively and fun atmosphere in the classes.
Having not been able work since 2016 coming to CALAT gave me the boost I needed to find a voluntary role at a charity shop local to me which is another thing I am so pleased about.
I can’t wait to enrol for my next art class as the work I do both there and at home takes me to a place where time washes over me and I am in a state of relaxation without a though for my health issues.
I can’t recommend CALAT highly enough. Great classes, great staff…brilliant.