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Hayley Levy

“I have been a healthcare assistant since the age of 18 and have always wanted to be a nurse, but with my husband being in the Royal Navy and raising a young family, my dream had to take a backseat.

“Almost two years ago my youngest son became seriously ill so we spent months at a time in and out of hospital. He has become my inspiration to strive to become a nurse. After living in the hospital with him I wanted to learn as much as possible to help with his care. Once he was well enough to go back to school full-time I applied for the Access to Nursing course here at the College.

“The Access provision offered me a way to get into the career path of my choice and this course is tailor made to give you the right skills to get into university. I knew after being out of an educational setting for such a long time that I would find it a struggle to start with but there is so much support available. The lecturers help you in a range of ways, they give you extra support if you need it extra tuition and extra lessons, they really go out if their way to try and help you through the course. This course is difficult but the passion shown by the lecturers for their subjects makes you want to show your dedication and strive to do your best. My biology teacher is so passionate about his subject he makes learning so much fun.

“Studying at the College has given me confidence in myself and my abilities. Before starting this course the thought of standing in front of a class to give a presentation terrified me, I was too shy I wouldn’t even speak to anybody but now I can do it with ease (almost). This course has been such a good thing for me; I have really developed as a person.

“Whilst being a full-time student, I returned to my previous place of work as an Activities Coordinator. I love my job, and constantly try to find ways of having a positive impact on my client’s lives. I think keeping someone stimulated is just as important as medication. I had heard through the College that knitting had a positive impact on wellbeing and thought I’d trial this at work. I started with a handful of clients participating in knitting activities and called it ‘Knit and Natter’. This group has steadily grown each week, even family members are getting involved, donating wool, encouraging their loved ones, also making squares themselves. I crochet the squares together, and the finished blankets are donated to the local hospitals special baby care unit.

“The course has reinforced my passion for learning. I feel like I have the attributes to be a very good nurse and I am excited to get to university and achieve my dream. I wouldn’t have been able to do that without plucking up the courage to apply for the Access to Nursing course.

“I strongly believe that at my age, going back to full-time education has shown my children that it doesn’t matter what your age is, if you want something and you work hard enough you can achieve anything. I’m hoping I’ve inspired and encouraged them by striving to better myself. I couldn’t have done this without the support of my family, friends and employer.

“I would 100% recommend this course to future nurses, and I actually have recommended it to some of my colleagues at work. The course is hard work, but the knowledge you gain, and the doors it opens for you make it worth every second.”