Ros after she was given her Honourable Mention certificate at the 2022 genU Client Values Awards for living genU’s vision, mission and values and having a positive impact on others.

Later life literacy fuels Ros’s hope

Adult literacy and numeracy training had been part of an inspiring transformation for Ros Hope Rose.

The 60-year-old who lives with an intellectual disability now enjoys giving back to her community. Especially in her weight loss group where she is second in charge, mentoring other women to achieve their health goals.

‘I want to make sure others don’t beat up on themselves and be encouraged,” she said.

“That’s my dream to help others. I want to help other people to read and write and be an advocate for people with an intellectual disability and mental health issues.

The effects of a difficult start in life followed Ros into adulthood.

“I have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and anxiety, but I don’t hurt myself anymore and now take only 4 daily medications,” she said.

“In 2010, I was taking 22 tablets a day. I ran away from home and lived on the streets for three weeks. Then I spent time in the Swanston Street Psychiatric Hospital.

“I did not even know how to shower myself. No-one had taught me. Even though I went to school, I was not given the time or skills to learn to read. All people could see was an adult they thought already knew this stuff. I was very, very low and would eat all night and sleep all day.”

Ros attributes her remarkable life turnaround to an incredible support system including her support worker, GP, counsellor and genU Training, who all helped her trust people again.

“The doctor said I needed to lose weight and people said that I couldn’t lose the weight. But my support worker, Kim said ‘yes, you can do this Ros!’,” she said.

“This gave me confidence in myself, and I lost 40 kilos. I did it slowly. Now I know there is a better way. Now I believe in myself. I now put on perfume and get my nails done. I shower every morning independently.”

Ros also attended classes with genU Training Foundation Skills to grow her literacy, communication and maths skills. She successfully completed a course in Initial Adult Literacy and Numeracy, Transition in Education and a Certificate I in Initial Adult Literacy and Numeracy.

“Anyone can learn to do stuff – this of course includes people with an intellectual disability. It helps to be in the right situation with people that understand your learning needs, like Katy my lovely foundation skills trainer at genU.

“I am continuing my learning as an adult because even though I went to school I was not given the time or skills to learn to read.   Going to an Adult reading and writing class with genU, I can now read at level 2 whole books and write sentences.

“I am changing my name and that’s important to me – Roslyn Hope Rose because I want to give other women hope.

“It’s been a long journey of finding myself, building trust and enjoying life. I have come out of that dark tunnel and into the light like a butterfly.’

Ros Hope Rose, formerly known as Roslyn Hearn, was an Honourable Mention recipient in the 2022 genU Client Values Awards. She is one of the 60,000+ women supported by genU over the past year.