The death of her daughter, at the age of just eight, forced Kate Petford to re-evaluate her career plans.
Originally, she had wanted to work in paediatric nursing, but after losing her daughter Lilianna to a rare neurological condition known as Rett Syndrome, she felt working with children would be too painful.
Telford College has helped Kate to build a different career, through its access to health and foundation degree in health and social care, where she has been able to focus instead on working with adults.
After completing her first two years at the Haybridge campus, Kate, from Dawley Bank, is now topping this up into a BA honours degree in health and social care at the University of Wolverhampton.
Kate, a former student at William Brookes School in Much Wenlock, said: “My career choices are in memory of Liliana, but to work with children is just too emotional for me.”
She said she chose Telford College for many reasons – proximity to her home, flexibility to fit around family commitments, and the chance to get a degree-level qualification without being saddled with huge tuition fees.
“The job I do now – a support worker for disabled adults and vulnerable young people – I do because of the skills and knowledge I developed whilst on the foundation degree course at Telford College.
“I help individuals with different day-to-day activities, including life skills. The foundation degree course has helped me understand the legality of care, so I know what my clients are able to access.”
She added: “The foundation degree in health and social care is very broad and opens up a phenomenal number of doors. You can keep training and progressing to become a fully qualified social worker.
“Telford College was really good fun. The college has amazing facilities, and my fond memories include when my group delivered a presentation on menopause and andropause.
“We worked with different departments of the college and arranged full access to the college’s commercial restaurant, The Orange Tree. Catering students prepared refreshments and we delivered our presentation to a group of professionals, students and staff.
“All the tutors have a wealth of knowledge which inspired me and my peers to follow the career of our dreams, and small group sizes meant you got to know them very well, and received lots of one-to-one support.”
Kate said she feels very lucky to have received so much tutor support, compared to many of her peers who chose to study all three years at university.
She said she particularly enjoyed the mix of studying at Telford College, the University of Wolverhampton campus, and at University Centre Telford in Southwater, where she had full access to the library for all the literature, facilities and resources she needed.
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