Caroline is Access to HE student of the year

15 August 2014

Cardiff and Vale College student Caroline is Access to HE student of the year

Caroline Read, a nursing student at Cardiff and Vale College, has been announced as the joint winner of the annual Agored Cymru Access to Higher Education Learner of the Year 2014.

The award celebrates and recognises learners whose achievements have been inspirational or life changing.

Caroline, 35, a mum of three from Gabalfa, began her studies after the birth of her youngest child. Caroline had been suffering with depression for a number of years and her support worker encouraged her to sign up to a course within her local community centre in order to help her gain more confidence and to give her a reason to leave the house for a few hours each week.

This inspired Caroline to pursue her dream career of being a nurse and soon afterwards she applied for and was accepted on to an Adult Foundation course before progressing on to the Access to Higher Education qualification in Nursing and Health Related Professions at Cardiff and Vale College.

Caroline is now applying to go to University in September and is getting experience in the community through part time and voluntary work.

Caroline said: “I’m delighted to have won this award – it means so much. Going back into education has been a life changing step for me and I’d urge anyone who is considering doing it later in life to go for it – it’s not too late and I only wish I’d done it sooner myself.”

Jane Chambers, Caroline’s course tutor said: “Caroline has studied at Cardiff and Vale College for the last two years and the Access team has never met a more enthusiastic and motivated learner. She arrived without a background in academic learning, but flourished in the college environment.This year Caroline won an award for her voluntary work with MacMillan Cancer Care from the University Hospital of Wales.

"Caroline is truly an inspirational student, she has triumphed over adversity and conquered her considerable challenges where most people would have given up. Caroline achieved at the highest level . She certainly deserves an award and this view is supported by everyone who knows her.”

Caroline shares the award with 31 year old Jamie Maidment from Caldicot. Jamie and Caroline will be formally presented with their award at the Senedd, Cardiff Bay, on 10th December. They will also share a cash prize.

Janet Barlow, Chief executive of Agored Cymru said:  “This year’s winners’ stories are hugely inspiring and they have both shown outstanding commitment to their studies. This is the first time that the award has been given to two people because we felt that they were truly deserving of it. I look forward to presenting them with their awards later this year.”