My name is Karen, I am a member of the Mitchelstown Group. I am a mother to 11 children, my youngest child Jasper was born this January. I worked as a Healthcare Assistant in England for a few years and since returning to Ireland I wanted to try and get back into that work area. To do this I needed to get a level 5 qualification in Healthcare.

I attended the Healthcare employment fair in Kilmallock in March 2018 where I met Eileen and she told me about the course starting in Mitchelstown shortly. I joined the group in Mitchelstown and we started with Personal Development, this was great as it helped us to get to know each other.


Two homecare employment agencies came to speak to the group and we also had a session with Mabs. We were supported to put an up-to-date CV in place.

In September 2018 we started the QQI level 5 modules, as I have dyslexia I found this a challenge but got great support from the Tutors and other members of the group. Shortly after starting the level 5 training, I found out I was pregnant which was quite a shock. I was determined to continue and everyone was so supportive. I was able to continue until the Christmas break, Jasper was born in January and I was back to the course 3 weeks later. Everyone helped so much keeping notes and helping me catch up, Jasper has even joined us in class and everyone was delighted!

Since coming back to class, the tutors have sourced a scribe for me to help me with exams and assignments, as I have Dyslexia this is a real help.

The next step now is to find work experience, I’m really looking forward to getting back to working in Healthcare.

For more information about the Healthcare Opportunities for Women or to register your interest, please contact Nichola Grufferty at ngrufferty@ballyhoura


This project is co-funded by the Government of Ireland and European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014 - 2020.