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University students celebrate Regional Adult Learner Awards

1 May 09


Two University of Bradford students have won Adult Learner Yorkshire and Humber Regional awards, as part of Adult Learners' Week (9th - 15th May 2009).

ALW winners The winners, Emily Beardall, 33 from Bradford, and Carmain Gibson, 22, from West Sussex, have been recognised for their remarkable achievements in education and will receive their awards at The University of Sheffield, next month.

Both students have overcome difficulties in their lives to get where they are today and study at the University of Bradford.

Emily, a 3rd year Pharmacy student, came to the University in September 2005. She has experienced mental health problems since her teenage years.  She had already begun studying Medicine in 1994, at a different university, but without extra support from the where she was studying at the time, Emily was forced to seek medical help on her own and as a result was required to leave the course in 1997. 

Since leaving Medical School, Emily has had a variety of jobs and careers, working as self-taught, self-employed web programmer and more recently has worked in a community pharmacy as a dispensing assistant.  It was during this time that Emily felt she was ready to return to full-time studies and began a Foundation in Clinical Science/Medicine degree.  This course helped refresh her learning skills and A-level subjects.  Now, studying pharmacy, Emily has a new positive direction in her life and is looking forward to graduating in 2011.

Carmain Gibson has just started a position as a staff nurse with a child and adolescent mental health service in West Sussex. She was successful, in getting this highly sought after position, after completing her Advanced Diploma in Nursing (Mental Health Branch) at the University of Bradford.

Carmain never really excelled at school, she had a difficult, and often traumatic, childhood which included the break-up of her parent's marriage when she was 12.  After this she went to live with her dad and they spent some time living on friends sofas, in a hostel and in a caravan before eventually finding a house of their own.

Upon leaving school Carmain went on to try and study for BTEC and NVQ courses in Social Work but failed to complete the courses and drifted in to care work.  It was only when she got to the University of Bradford that she was diagnosed with severe dyslexia, which, explained a lot of the problems she had had in previous study.

During her time at the University of Bradford, Carmain realises that with the right support you can achieve anything and through getting help with her dyslexia, she has done just that.

As part of the national celebrations of Adult Learners' Week the University of Bradford will be offering advice and information about studying at the University at various locations across the Bradford district during the week.

1 May 09

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Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail press@bradford.ac.uk or fax on (01274) 236280.