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Kerry Carter

Kerry Carter reached a crossroads in her life and arrived at a major decision – after 30 years doing the same job, she was going to change her career.

The 45-year-old single mum to three sons had spent her working life as a nurse, beginning as a district nurse and more recently working in prison and supporting homeless people and rough sleepers across Plymouth.

However, a number of traumatic incidents in her home life presented Kerry with barriers which she felt she needed to overcome if she was going to change her life. “I needed a new challenge, and if I was going to meet that challenge that meant new qualifications,” she said. “I’d not been involved in any education for 25 years, and I kept telling myself I was too old to change, but when one of my sons looked at going to university it inspired me to see what options were available to help me change my life for the better.”

She looked at City College Plymouth’s Access To Higher Education courses, initially opting for a nursing course. However, she still felt she wanted more of a change in career, so instead of continuing she switched to an Access To Counselling course. “The tutors were really supportive of me making the change – they got what I wanted to do and why I wanted to do it. I was at a stage in my life where I felt I’d lost my identity a bit, and I was so grateful for their support.”

Kerry describes the tutors on her Access To Counselling course as “amazing,” adding: “My psychology and sociology teachers were positive, supportive and patient. The language used in education now is different to when I was at school, so I had to learn a whole new catalogue of skills and embrace them, and they helped me every step of the way.” She also has a diagnosis of dyslexia, and often requires additional help with her writing.

She says the course has helped turn her life around, and she is now working towards a new career in counselling, with potentially a focus on domestic abuse and child trauma. Having given up full-time employment, she is now taking a four-year Integrated Psychotherapy and Counselling Masters degree at Plymouth Marjon University. “Education has totally taken over for me, and I can finally see a way forward that’s right for me and my family,” she said.

City College Plymouth’s Access courses are the perfect option for adults seeking a change in career. Offering complete flexibility to fit around your life, they are a great choice for so many people.

Click here to find out more about our access courses.