What made you pick Petroc?
I have worked in the sector for over 20 years and I have worked in many different job roles, I knew that the end goal was to always work in child protection. I wasn’t sure where to begin and after being out of education for 20 years and having a young child it was a huge and scary decision. When I started to do my research, I was amazed that my local college were offering a health and social care degree, it was close to home and allowed to me to study, continue to work and still be home for dinner and bedtime for my daughter – it seemed like a perfect fit! I called Petroc and explained my position and was put in touch with the lecturers, we had a meeting and they immediately made me feel comfortable and it became clear they are experts in this field and I knew I would learn so much from them.
What did you most enjoy about studying at Petroc?
It is so difficult to chose one or two things because my whole journey and experience has been amazing. The course content is great and covers so much, the modules are all different, so you learn lots of new skills, within my 3 years I wrote essays, did presentations, built websites, worked with local organisations to create community projects, made scrapbooks and posters so there really is something for everyone. The lectures themselves were so much fun, yes there are times when its quiet and serious but there are so many times when you’re laughing so hard your belly hurts. Most of all for me I enjoyed learning through the expertise of my lecturers, and they were so much more than just teachers. I was incredibly lucky to have lectures like Clark Denby and Steve Berry who made the whole experience unforgettable. They really care about you as a person, and they celebrate your successes and help in the times when things are not going so well. I have laughed, cried, shouted and been distracted throughout this 3 year journey but they have been right beside me every step of way and they became my biggest supporters, cheering me on from the sidelines, giving words of encouragement and advice whenever I needed it, they made this experience one of the best of my whole 38 years and I will never be able to really find the words to thank them enough!
Did you undertake any work experience throughout your studies?
I didn’t undertake any work experience but I was very lucky that one of my modules in my first year took me to places I never really thought possible – during the lifespan module we had to choose 1 celebrity and make a scrap book of their lives covering the lifespan stages, I chose Mel B aka scary spice as lots of her life paralleled with my own, I decided to write to her management company and ask for a cheeky request to interview never really expecting a response but shockingly she said yes! She gave some brilliant answers which helped me in this project. During this interview the subject of education around coercive control was discussed and from there our campaign to educate young people about the signs of this type of abuse was born, working in collaboration with women’s aid we designed posters that are now on the backs of toilet doors in schools, restaurants, pubs and workplaces which outline the signs to look out for and helplines, websites and charities that will help, and all this came from a Petroc module. I was supported with this campaign by Petroc who also publicised it using their own social media platforms and celebrated in the huge success that this campaign ended up being. We all worked in partnership to make this happen and who knows how many people this has helped and lives it has saved.
What do you plan to do when you leave Petroc?
I have now graduated from Petroc with a 2:1 and I have just been offered a job to run a new children’s residential care home. So, my dream of working within child protection has come to fruition. The original plan was to become a social worker working in initial response (this still is an option for the future) but through my studies, discussions with my lecturers and self-reflection managing a home for the children who need a mentor, a teacher, and someone to be their biggest supporter, someone to push them and guide them is where I am meant to be. If I can give the children whom I am now responsible for half of the support and kindness I was shown, then it’s a job well done. I have enrolled to start my post graduate diploma in childhood trauma and therapeutic intervention along child and adolescent mental health. I am hoping once I have completed these I will go on to achieve my master’s degree in trauma informed practice.
Any advice for someone thinking of choosing the same course as you?
Health and social care is so much more than its title, it covers so much more. The wide variety of modules covered within this degree will give you so much knowledge in so many areas and you may even find you become interested in an area you didn’t even know existed. This course offers a multitude of subjects which are all thought provoking, you will be guided and supported in every aspect of your studies and you will come out the other side a different person.
My journey has been amazing and has given me insight, inner strength, self-belief and the ability to ask questions of the world around me which gives me clarity and perspective.
I have made friends for life – so much so that one is the bridesmaid for my upcoming wedding.
The support also doesn’t stop when you leave either – I am still in contact with my lecturers who completed the references needed for my job. I know I can send either of them an email if I am unsure of something or need an answer to a question or help with my continuing studies and like always they are ready to help with their knowledge and expertise.
If your feeling unsure or a little nervous there really is no need to be – Petroc are incredible, and you never know where your own journey will take you.
BA Hons Health and Social Care
This course offers a multitude of subjects which are all thought provoking, you will be guided and supported in every aspect of your studies and you will come out the other side a different person.