This is why I do what I do, empowering #womenintech is so important

Please see below email just received today, I have anonymised it and its not related to these lovely ladies in the photo.  I get lots of email/messages like this all the time. We must provide more opportunities for #womenintech.



Dear Sue

Firstly, I know you are incredibly busy so I definitely do not want to take up too much of your time. I’ll try and be as succinct as possible!

I was looking to see if you could advise me on retraining as a software developer and if there are any schemes, grants, bursaries available. I am a single parent of 3 and left an abusive relationship (my children’s father) just over a year ago. Whilst I have a degree in xxxxxx, I work as a xxxxxxxxxxx in the voluntary sector- which is neither well paid or guaranteed. I am currently renting and with maintenance money not being provided, huge childcare costs and soaring rent rates, myself and my children are incredibly vulnerable. I recognise that it is up to me to do something about this and I am nothing but determined.

A friend suggested coding, the past two weeks I have spent my evening having a go at small intro courses to java and python. to my surprise I was able to complete the tasks and enjoyed them! I understand these were just introductions- and by no means do I think this is coding! Nevertheless I would really like to retrain in software development. I have no savings, and realistically can’t take time out- unless I get some funding- in order to retrain.

There is a 16 week full time coding course running in xxxxxxxxx (where I Live which I have been recommend) It begins in February 2019 and I would really like to join it. I applied for a career development loan but my credit rating was not good enough to qualify.

I wondered if you could advice of any funding that may be open to me? Or just general advice of courses or options that you know of?

I also just wanted to say that you are an amazing woman, who is so inspiring to so many people. It’s a joy to listen to you on Late night Women’s hour and other podcasts.

Many Thanks and warmest wishes




    1. My response:

      Thanks for your lovely email.

      There are a few retraining courses around for specific organisations, I think Vodafone, Sky and some others run them.

      Im currently putting a proposal together to get funding to run exactly this sort of thing, so keep in touch 🙂

  1. I wish I could find a way of learning to code, traditional ways don’t work for me, plus funding a course is difficult. I agree though there is not sufficient funding or online courses that can help us to develop from the start and we are prevented if credit rating is an issue from progressing. It’s not just funding the youngsters either which is also the issue, we have talented people unable to tap into funding or courses. Universities could do more to help giving access through satellite locations as not everyone can get to what is a central location.

    1. As far as funding goes, perhaps consider applying for a loan to your local credit union. They are ethical lenders who take time to understand people’s circumstances and lend at a fair rate. They may well give your application more serious consideration than other lenders. They may also be able to advise on how to improve your credit rating, which will improve your prospects either way. Debt counselling services are also great, if you need them (Step Change, Talking Money, Christians against Poverty) and may also help you with this so you can move forward. They see the person. Good luck.

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