0:02 Uh my name’s Bernie D. I work for the Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, looking after the finances of the organisation.
00:09 We have several funders, our main funder being BRO, that’s Belfast Regeneration Office, um they’re government funders and we would also get funding from different bodies, Arts Council, to run different arts and culture um activities in the Colin area.
00:28 I didn’t really enjoy school, no. Um I attended a school that was um sort of headed up by nuns. It was quite, very, quite strict.
00:42 I came from a family of eight and really my parents were very much the old school and they weren’t real believers in further education. You went to school, you left school as soon as you could and you got a job and you started bringing income into the family.
01:01 I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I left school so when I left school I had five GCSEs.
01:08 I did actually feel at one point in my life that I wanted to become a nurse and I was studying O level biology and I did enjoy that subject. But um I couldn’t stand the sight of blood, I could not stand and I’m very squeamish and can’t even watch Casualty without hiding behind the cushion. I hadn’t a clue what I wanted to do so I sort of veered into um, it was like a job skills programme what they would call now and basically you went there five days a week and one day a week you were put on placement. They had sent me to several places, they sent me to retailing, um and then I thought I would be interested in catering. They sent me to a café and all I did was dishwashing.
01:56 They sent me to a solicitor’s and I felt, I found there that I enjoyed working in that environment. I enjoyed the typing aspect, I loved being on a typewriter but I had no skills so I decided from there I would go back to St Colin’s High School and do typing classes. This gave me the confidence, you know to, to try and get more um experience, more qualifications in that field and once I got the typewriting um skills I still didn’t know what I wanted to do.
02:34 I had applied for a job as a wages clerk, clerk and store bookkeeper. But um again I had no experience but you know, I just went to see how I would get on with the interview and I think that was my first real break, you know, because the person who interviewed me um she saw, she obviously saw something in me that, you know, um we’ll give, we’ll give this girl a chance here and, and she knew that I didn’t have any experience in bookkeeping or um, you know, doing wages and I did the wages, uh learned to do wages on a computer and learned to do basic bookkeeping.
03:17 I feel that it’s only now that I’m starting to reap the benefits as such of, you know going back and doing the different qualifications and doing the different courses that I did do whereas if I had have known then what sort of career I wanted to do, then I, then I could have went and done these uh, these qualifications and courses a lot sooner.
03:42 I’m in my forties now and uh I love this job now. This, this is what I have aimed for. Um the future, I want to get more qualifications because they’ll all go, they’re all going to benefit me and I’ve learned that throughout my career path.