Thirty-seven-year-old Garry lives in Edinburgh. In 2013 he completed the NHS NC Health and Social Care course at the college which led to a clinical support worker role at NHS Lothian. His colleagues supported him to apply to study HNC Care and Administrative Practice and he is the winner of this year’s NHS Lothian Achievement Award.
What made you choose Edinburgh College for your studies?
I first applied to Edinburgh College in 2013 because the NHS NC Health and Social Care course sounded exciting and offered a good opportunity to gain employment with the NHS. Another reason I chose to apply to the college was the on-campus accommodation it offered.
Since completing that course, I have gained full-time employment with NHS Lothian and have gone on to study HNC in Care and Administrative Practice at Edinburgh College.
What were you doing before starting at the college?
Before starting my HNC I was working as a clinical support worker at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. This post started as a work placement organised by the college and resulted in me gaining a full-time position on the ward I had been training on.
What has been the best thing about studying at Edinburgh College? Any highlights?
Making new friends and making a life for myself in Edinburgh.
Did you face any challenges before starting or during your studies? How did you overcome them?
When I first started college in 2013, I had an issue with my bursary and thought I might have to give up the course. I told my tutors about this and they introduced me to the programme manager for Health, Social Care and Counselling, who was able to help get this situation resolved.
If you could give one piece of advice to a student starting at the college now what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, advice or feedback.
What are your plans for the future? Are you going on to further study or into employment? What is your end goal?
I have just started the 2nd year of a Nursing degree programme at Edinburgh Napier University and I am working towards my long-term goal of becoming a mental health nurse.
Do you have any messages for the lecturers?
I would like to say a huge thank you to all the lecturers and staff for all their help, encouragement and support during my time at Edinburgh College.
Looking back, if you could do one thing differently what would it be and why?
I would start planning and working on essays and exams earlier and cut down on late night cramming sessions.
What are you most proud of that you have achieved while studying at Edinburgh College?
Achieving my HNC and gaining a place at Edinburgh Napier University. Also, being awarded the NHS Lothian Achievement Award.
What made you succeed at Edinburgh College?
Support from college tutors, staff and fellow students, as well as the support and encouragement from staff, patients and visitors on my ward.