A mature student from Hereford is celebrating after achieving First Class Honours in her degree.
Sharon Nelder has just completed her BA (Hons) in Social Welfare (Child and Adolescent Mental Health) degree at the University of Worcester.
The 43-year-old mother-of-three said: “My expectation was just to pass as I knew it was going to mean a lot of hard work trying to balance studying with work and life. I am incredibly pleased and overwhelmed with what I have been able to achieve. I feel very proud of myself.”
Sharon completed a Diploma in Counselling Skills at Hereford College before joining the University of Worcester’s Foundation Degree in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (Camhs) and then topping up to the full BA (Hons) Social Welfare degree.
She joined the University through Clearing, the annual process of matching unplaced students with universities each August, after being unsuccessful gaining a place on the University’s highly competitive Child Nursing degree.
“When I first realised I was in Clearing I thought, “oh well, that's it” and decided not to do anything else. However, I saw the Foundation Degree and thought I would see if I could gain a place on that, especially as it was relevant to my work and my interest in mental health.”
She added: “Being local to Hereford, Worcester was ideal, as I was able to work, study and manage to have a family life too. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University; it has been a great experience.”
Sharon has just started a new job as a Young Person Practitioner with Herefordshire Intensive Placement Support Service (HIPSS), employed by Action for Children. She is hoping to continue her studies in the future.
“My advice to anyone who find themselves in Clearing is to stick with it, try not to be too disheartened, rethink your options and go for it,” she added.