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Abbie Reilly

Before returning to education, mum-of-two Abbie Reilly had spent much of her time caring for her disabled son and decided to use this experience in pursuit of new career opportunities. After completing a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care, Abbie decided to do a top-up year in community and public services management, which will result in an honours degree. 

Abbie said: “I first came to the College not really knowing what I wanted to do. Having cared for my son, I felt I had a lot of experience in this area, so I enquired about the different health and social care courses. 

“I chose to study at City College Plymouth as the staff were happy to take my life experience into account when I applied. Often these types of courses want relevant work experience, but City College recognised the value of the time I had spent looking after my son and how it related to aspects of the course. 

“I decided to do the top-up year as I was determined to come away with an honours degree. I hadn’t really heard about the BSc Community and Public Services degree until I came here and it sounded really interesting.  

“Throughout my time at the College the staff have been extremely supportive, and being in small groups enables you to form better relationships with both the lecturers and other students. I have had a lot of family commitments and there have been times when I have needed to prioritise my children, but the lecturers understand; they are all brilliant and their experiences beyond the College are invaluable.”

Abbie’s next step after completing her degree involves studying a PGCE or possibly joining the police force. 

She added that she couldn’t stress enough what she has gained from this course, and urges anyone considering returning to education as a parent not to worry about trying to manage college life with family life, as City College Plymouth will support you throughout.