Access to HE bursary award winners

Michael Sargent Bursary Award

Alisha Margetts
Winner: Outstanding academic achievement
Gained an Access to HE Diploma in Midwifery at Kingston College
Now studying Midwifery at the University of Surrey

When Alisha Margetts joined the Access to Midwifery programme at Kingston College she had been out of education for many years. Although initially apprehensive about the challenges ahead she settled down well and applied herself methodically to her studies, taking maths GCSE alongside her Access course. Alisha also started working 30 hours a week as a maternity care assistant whilst attending college part time. She achieved distinctions for all the graded work and her attendance at college was an impressive 98 per cent. Described by her tutors as “an unassuming member of the group with a calm and kind persona” her work was always presented professionally and completed to a high standard. Programme leader Jane George says: “Alisha did not falter at all during the numerous challenges confronting all Access students. She remained focused on her ultimate goal, was outwardly positive and always optimistic.”

Claire Kettlewell
Winner: Outstanding commitment to study
Gained an Access to HE Diploma in Health and Human Sciences at Kendal College
Now studying Occupational Therapy at the University of Cumbria

Claire Kettlewell was just eight years old when she was diagnosed with dyslexia. Although she gained 10 GCSEs at school, none of them were with a grade higher than D. Not deterred, Claire went to study for a GNVQ at Kendal College and then began working with children, young people and vulnerable adults – an experience that ignited an interest in occupational therapy. The obstacle to her career development, however, was the need for more qualifications. So, in 2014, Claire returned to Kendal College, passed her GCSEs in English (grade C) and maths (grade B) and then embarked on an Access to HE Diploma in Health and Human Sciences. Dyslexia remained a problem, which meant spending hours writing and rewriting assignments. Her efforts paid off. Claire’s tutors said her improvements on the course were exceptional, culminating in a booklet for prospective fathers, written with humour, scientific depth and in accessible language. Her tutor Richard Evans says: “Claire made it clear to everyone that she was doing the course to transform her life. She never imagined when she left school that she would ever go to university. When her working life brought her into contact with healthcare professionals in occupational therapy Claire knew she could do the job. She just needed the qualifications.”

Sam Willcocks
Runner up: Outstanding academic achievement
Gained an Access to HE Diploma in Nursing at Barnet and Southgate College
Now studying Adult Nursing at Kings College

Sam Willcocks gained an impressive 33 distinctions and 12 merits on his Access to HE course. His continuous striving for excellence was clearly reflected in the overall quality of his work. But it was his determination and academic excellence in the unit on health and illness that particularly impressed the college staff. His tutor Jane McFadden says: “I feel very privileged that I have had the opportunity to witness Sam grow as an individual and as a professional. I believe that he is a role model as he stands for everything that an Access to HE student should be – dedicated, hardworking and willing to learn.”

Tabada Dutra
Runner up: Outstanding commitment to study
Gained an Access to HE Diploma in Science at Barnet and Southgate College
Now studying Pharmacology at Kings College

As the mother of two young children, aged four and seven, Tabada Dutra has had to be disciplined about time management. She developed a rigorous study schedule from the onset of her course, negotiating with her partner to study from 9.00pm to midnight each evening with an extension to 2.30am at pressured times! It was a tough year juggling family life with studying in her second language (her first being Portuguese), but her efforts were rewarded with an impressive 45 distinctions. Tabada also found time to mentor learners who needed additional support. She says: “I wasn’t used to a student routine and really needed to brush up my scientific knowledge. The Access course gave me the tools to be prepared for university in a short period of time.”

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