“I was born and brought up in Dundee. I went to Whitfield Primary School, and finished my education at Kirkton High School. I grew up in Whitfield until I was ten, then I moved to Kirkton. I lived in the Clepington Road area most of my adult life.
I have a daughter, she is 25 and we have a really close relationship- she still stays at home with me. Her father and I split up when she was 2. So I brought her up as a single parent. I am very proud of her and her achievements.
I have a partner now, we have been together for four years.
Of my two sisters, my older sister has passed away and my younger sister stays in Fife. Our mum died when I was 10 so I grew up with my father and stepmother. I have step brothers and sisters as well- in total, there is seven of us!
When I first left school I wanted to do hospitality and catering. However, that course didn’t begin until September and I left school in May.
So, I needed something to do in the summer, in the college the only course that was running at that time was the secretarial course so I thought I will do that in the short term. My first placement was in the office of a Weavers Mill, in Dundee. It was all administrative tasks, I really enjoyed it. I had hated administration at school, but I really enjoyed this placement. My next placement was at a Wheelchair factory and I moved there when I was about 19 and then I moved into the training sector, and ever since I have worked in training and employability.
I worked with a company called Rathbone for 12 years. Then I moved to work at Claverhouse, and I worked there for 16 years. I thought I would be there until I retired. However, they went into liquidation in 2015. That was a total shock. I didn’t have a job- I had never been unemployed in my life- it was a total panic.
That was in the May of 2015 but then an advertisement for a DIWC pilot employability project came to my attention. I needed to do something- I hated being out of work so I came to the centre. The funding for the project was only available until September so I left DIWC and went to work with Learn Direct for six months. That company was connected to my old employers so it was familiar.
About a year ago, the centre got funding for a longer period of time for the employability class so I have been here since.
I had heard of the centre before, I knew it existed; I knew something of it’s history but I didn’t really know what happened here.
The first time I was here, for 14 weeks, I learned so much. The women would tell me how much they learned from me, but I learn just as much from them. I always thought it was only for Muslim women, but it is women from all over the world and women from Dundee too.
The job I do now is very similar to the job I used to do, but before I worked with mandatory clients; people who had to look for work or have benefits sanctioned, But in DIWC I work with women who are here because they want to be- so it’s really rewarding.
In my free time I like to go out socialising, eating, cooking and going to the movies. I used to do cake decorating, but I don’t have much time for hobbies now- don’t know how I ever did.
In the future I hope to think until I retire I will ideally be here or somewhere really similar- watching people succeed. I have always gotten satisfaction from watching people succeed. I would like to retire… I always used to say after I turned 40 I would go part-time but it never happened.
Every day something interesting happens. I hope to work with the centre for as long as I can.”