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Gabrielle Holmes, Midwife. 2001 Access to HE; 2004 BSc (Hons) Midwifery, University of Leeds; 2007 Midwife, Leeds 

Gabrielle's story

I was 36 years old, a mother of four boys and a full-time housewife when I enrolled on the Access to HE course at Harrogate College.

I felt a strong desire to push myself to something new

I wanted to get back to work but I just couldn't face going back to the same type of office work I'd done previously. I felt a strong desire to push myself to something new, to achieve something. My youngest son was two and the time just seemed right.

I chose to study part-time so that I could attend classes at night when my husband could take care of the children.

At times it was tricky juggling family life with studies and, looking back, I'm not quite sure how I did it. During the days, I'd study while my youngest was at playgroup. Then in the evenings I'd get my books out again once the children were in bed.

The Access to HE course introduced me to the concept of organised study and prepared me for the time and effort I would need to put in if I was going to succeed at university.

After completing the course, I set myself the goal of achieving a first class honours degree and worked my socks off to achieve it. It's taught me that I can achieve anything and I feel I've set a good example for my children.

The Access to HE course kick-started my self-belief

The Access to HE course kick-started my self-belief. It opened up a whole new chapter for me. Would I be where I am now if I hadn't done the Access to HE course? No way!

Access to HE courses are the ideal way back into education. With the help of Access to HE, it's never too late to get your degree.