When Karen saw an advert for a Cake Decorating class at a community venue, she was recovering from cancer and struggling with almost complete social isolation – but she knew something had to change.

She pushed herself to join the course, and her first class at Weoley Castle Library was the first time she’d set foot outside her house, alone, in three years.

A long time ago, Karen was an avid cake maker and decorator but her skills needed a refresh. Although the BAES course provided a great learning opportunity for her, the real driver was her recovery from illness and taking a step out into the community again.

Her tutor reflects on when she first met Karen:

“When Karen first joined the class, she would not make eye contact or hold a conversation with others, and there was limited communication with the teacher too. By week six of the course, Karen had made huge progress with her self-confidence and the skills she’d learned. She has attended every week without fail. I have been encouraged personally by Karen and have realised the difference that an Arts and Crafts class can make in someone’s life.”

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