Mina is helping to support society’s most vulnerable

Published: June 3, 2020

Telford College student Wilhelmina Turkson is helping some of the town’s most vulnerable people to get back on their feet.

The 39-year-old, known as Mina, is currently combining her work with a foundation degree course in health and social care.

She is a support worker with the My Options team in Telford & Wrekin, which promotes independence, wellbeing and community involvement.

Mina, from Hollinswood, spends much of her time working with homeless people aged between 16 and 24. She said: “Some of them may have a form of disability such as ADHD, anxiety, or other mental health issues.

“Part of my job involves supporting them to claim benefits if they don’t have any, and helping them to arrange appointments.

“The majority of them are classed as vulnerable people, and reliant on either drugs or alcohol, and my colleagues and I also arrange referrals to find them the appropriate help.”

My Options, works closely with individuals, parents and carers, commissioners and local authorities, and has a reputation as a trusted and established service.

Mina added: “I love working with these people, and have learnt a lot since I began my time here, alongside my studies.

“With the experience I have gained, I have decided that I want to work in the adult health and social services after graduating from Telford College.”

Before enrolling on the foundation degree course, Mina originally joined Telford College on an Access To Higher Education programme, while also developing her English and maths skills.

Caroline Bastow, learner manager for higher education and access at Telford College, said: “Mina is a perfect example of the sort of student who can benefit the most from our degree-

Telford College | Mina Turkson

Telford College | Mina Turkson

level foundation courses.

“She always wanted to be a nurse, but family commitments had previously prevented her from enrolling on a nursing degree course.

“Telford College’s foundation degree, being local and at convenient times during the week, has made higher education much more achievable for her, whilst also opening up some exciting career options.”

Caroline added: “Mina is a true example of what education can do to really support a student’s awareness of their own skills and abilities.

“The knowledge she has gained from the course, along with her caring and supportive personality, is allowing her to pursue a career that she loves, supporting the vulnerable to become more independent.

“She has worked so hard to balance her learning with family and work commitments – watching her graduate later this year will be the icing on the cake.”