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Four generations at Bradford

Tom Shelton
BSc Hons Physiotherapy 2009


‌Tom’s great grandfather studied in Bradford after coming back from the First World War at the then Mechanics Institute. Tom’s grandfather was the first member of the family to obtain an engineering qualification from the University of Bradford. Tom’s great uncle Bill Shelton gained a PG Diploma in Industrial Administration in 1968 from the University and served on the University of Bradford’s Council during the 1970-80s.

Julie and Paul Shelton Tom’s father Paul Shelton subsequently came to Bradford in 1975 to study a first degree in Mechanical Engineering and stayed with the University to gain further qualifications in the form of his Master’s and PhD. Tom’s mum Julie Shelton also studied at the University of Bradford, graduating with a BSc Social Sciences in 1979. The family has not only benefited from an education at the University, but also have returned the contribution.

Paul enjoyed the social aspect of student life where he played rugby for the University’s first team, enjoyed hiking with his wife and made the most of the opportunities available when studying at one of the smaller city universities of that time.

Tom decided to come to Bradford due to the reputation of the School of Health Studies and the stories his dad told about playing rugby at University as Tom was quite a keen rugby player at the time.

Tom studied as part of a diverse group of people on his course which he remembers as being “a welcome bonus as it allowed me personal growth that I wasn’t expecting.” For Tom it was useful to have fellow students who were a mixed age range, from different ethnic backgrounds and a mixture of local and national individuals. The diversity of the group allowed Tom to gain a better understanding of dealing with a multicultural society, which has helped him greatly in his current role as a physiotherapist working at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

Tom Shelton “I’ve learnt to speak to people from different backgrounds more effectively as a result of undertaking my degree at the University of Bradford; the experience has also made me more responsible in my personal life.”

Tom took a sports focus as his extracurricular activities while studying at University, playing both rugby union and rugby league, hockey and squash. “I have many fond memories of my time at Bradford; it gave me the opportunity to better myself, have lots of fun and get involved with many different sports.”

Tom is keen to be involved with the university to give back in the form of working with current physiotherapy students. “Bradford is important to me and has given me so much that I’m more than happy to help make a difference to the next generation of Bradford graduates.

“The University is welcoming and has a strong research base which is important in keeping up with emerging developments in the area of clinical sciences.”