Double joy for mother-and-daughter team at Keighley College
When Emily Ellershaw went for an interview at Keighley College she took her mother, Shirley, along for moral support.
Neither could have imagined that, a few years later, they would both be working for the college as teachers.
But that’s exactly what happened after Head of Service Professions, Kevin Burke, asked Shirley what she did for a living during that fateful interview. When Shirley replied that she was considering a career change, while wanting to continue working in health, Kevin told her about the college’s new Health & Wellbeing Foundation Degree.
Despite enrolling on different courses, Emily and Shirley were able to meet for study sessions, support each other through the Covid-19 lockdowns, and cheer each other on.
Never too late to follow your dreams
They succeeded and are now both enjoying careers at Keighley College.
Course Leader Shirley is delighted at how things turned out, and hopes her story inspires others to make a change.
She said: “It’s never too late to pursue the career you have dreamed about – even if the journey takes a little longer.
“Honestly, it is worth all the hard work when you finally have the job you want and love.”
For Emily, her time at the college, from starting as a student to ending up an employee, has been a transformative experience.
Amazing support through an amazing journey
It began when she was 15, and joined the college through a partnership programme with her secondary school, from which she gained a Level 2 childcare award.
She went on to complete a Level 3 diploma in Childcare and Education, a foundation degree in Supporting Teaching and Learning, a BA (Hons) in Children and Young People’s Care and Education, and finally a PGCE and teaching work placement.
She said: “It was when Kevin Burke started teaching me that I found out about the new supporting teaching and learning degree and, after numerous conversations, I applied for the course. I can say with absolute certainty that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
“If it wasn’t for the support and passion from Kevin when talking about my future, and all the pathways I had in front of me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
“When I started my PGCE I was extremely nervous and continually questioned myself if I was good enough, or if I could actually do this. But my fears were soon put aside when I started my first day of placement – I was welcomed into this amazing environment and everyone in the staffroom was extremely friendly, and made the time to help and support me.”
Emily is urging other adults who are looking to make a change to also take on a course at Keighley College.
‘Go for it and don’t look back’
She said: “The support I have received has been amazing, any time I have asked a question or panicked over deadlines or my work I have always had a tutor to support me.
“Being able to study and work together with my mum has also been an amazing experience, and I believe it created this stronger bond between us.
“My first words to other adult learners would be ‘go for it and don’t look back’, because it would be the best decision they would ever make. Keighley College is a family where, no matter what you’re thinking and feeling, you would have the support you need.
“It’s never too late to make a change, even if it scares you.”
Click here for more details on courses at Keighley College.