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Jamie's life changing learning journey reaps rewards

Jamie's life changing learning journey reaps rewards

Coleg Gwent nursing student Jamie Maidment from Caldicot, has been announced as 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.

Jamie, a 31 year old dad of two, left school when he was 13 and fell into a pattern of self-destructive behaviour including drugs and criminality. But when his daughter was born in 2013, Jamie was determined to set out on a path to accomplish his ambition of becoming a mental health nurse and to change his life around.

Despite his lack of confidence and with no academic achievements from school, Jamie gained a place on the Access to Higher Education qualification in Nursing at Coleg Gwent’s City of Newport Campus and successfully completed the course this year.

In September, Jamie will begin a degree in Mental Health Nursing at Cardiff University.  Jamie said: “I’m really happy to have won this award. Going back to education has been life changing and it’s been a huge boost to my confidence. I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of the staff at Coleg Gwent – especially my tutor Beverley Earley and I’d like to thank them sincerely."

Beverley Earley, Jamie’s course tutor said: “Jamie’s story will inspire others who are thinking of applying to do an Access course and are wary of that first step. He has turned his life around and has gained a place at Cardiff University.

"Jamie was an excellent student at Coleg Gwent he was popular because he cares about people and what they have to say, which is why Mental Health Nursing is the ideal career choice for him. He can use his many transferable skills to assist others who will benefit well from his knowledge and non-judgmental attitude. He will be an asset to the nursing profession."

Jamie shares the award with 35 year old Caroline Read from Cardiff. Jamie and Caroline will be formally presented with their award along with a cash prize at the Senedd, Cardiff Bay, on 10th December.

Janet Barlow, Chief Executive Officer of Agored Cymru said: “This year’s winner’s 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."

If Jamie's story has inspired you and you would like more information on Access to Higher Education visit our Access course pages or call our admissions team on 01495 333777.

News article originally published 20th August 2014
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