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Awards of Achievement for Learners - September 2021

For outstanding achievement on DistanceLearningCentre.com Access to Higher Education Diplomas, whether academic or personal.

The Awards are open to any student who achieves a full Access to Higher Education Diploma with DistanceLearningCentre.com. One set of Awards are made each year.

Award winners won back half the cost of their Access Diploma course fees in recognition of their exceptional achievements.

It was DistanceLearingCentre.com that provided me with the necessary tools and support to not just succeed, but to soar - Richard Diedo

Richard Diedo

As a mature student, the decision to undertake an Access to Higher Education Diploma as a stepping stone to an undergraduate degree in Social Work was a commitment not lightly made. I researched several online training providers before selecting DistanceLearningCentre.com, an organisation which has enabled my transformation and the achievement of my personal goals.

Throughout, the support of tutors, my wife, and the wider DistanceLearningCentre.com community were fundamental in enabling me to overcome adversity. The peer support of fellow students proved a wonderful resource. People of all ages and backgrounds united in their desire to study and self-develop, quick to offer support, help and encouragement. Many times, I was truly humbled by the stories of others and inspired by the personal journeys of my peers. With passing time and growing confidence, I was able to ‘pay it back’ and became active in helping and encouraging others through the Facebook support group.

With the excellent learning materials, the well-structured program, the prompt marking and honest feedback of my tutors who challenged me to not just pass, but to excel, I was delighted to complete my access course in a little over 5 months, achieve distinctions in all my graded units, and secure a confirmed place at my chosen University for this academic year.

I embark on the next step of my journey with renewed self-confidence, a re-awakening of my love of learning, and the firm belief that at any age I can achieve my goals, an attitude that I hope to share with others through my future social work. It took a personal leap of faith to surrender a secure job and embark on this transformational journey. It was DistanceLearingCentre.com that provided me with the necessary tools and support to not just succeed, but to soar. (July 2021)

DistanceLearningCentre.com are there to educate, motivate and commend you throughout your journey - Natalie Denham

Natalie Denham

As a mature student with PTSD, the main symptoms being anxiety and panic disorder, teamed with juggling family obligations, I had many factors against me throughout my studies. Naturally, I had a few reservations about whether or not it would be possible to complete the course; let alone apply to university. My ultimate goal was to start a career in Biomedical Science, with a view to eventually complete a Masters and PhD in Immunology - an area of keen interest.

It wasn’t long into my search for providers that I found DistanceLearningCentre.com who put me at ease by informing me that, in addition to the course, they also assist students with their university applications through UCAS. I liaised with prospective universities about my options with DistanceLearningCentre.com, and after some very careful consideration, I gleefully embarked on my chosen Access to HE Science course.

DistanceLearningCentre.com were more than accommodating from the outset and throughout, with regular check-ins from the student support team regarding my mental health and wellbeing, moreover they hand-picked each of my tutors based on my needs and individual learning style; I felt supported, valued and empowered.

The main takeaway from my time with DistanceLearningCentre.com would be that you are capable of more than you think. As someone who was an average student throughout school and a self-confessed procrastinator, I managed to astound myself by achieving numerous Distinctions; even during times of adversity. I’m delighted to announce that I am set to start my Biomedical Science degree later this year, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions from DistanceLearningCentre.com.

The key thing is to avoid competing with, or comparing yourself to, anyone else and their personal timeline. I was reminded by one of my tutors that I am the only person with my unique life experience, my individual perspective on my chosen subject, and my particular skill set, and that is invaluable to future employers. When you decide that you are ready to take that all-important next step in your career, DistanceLearningCentre.com are there to educate, motivate and commend you throughout your journey. (July 2021)

I found the content of the course very interesting and relatable to my field - Avory Fedee

Avory Fedee

Having emigrated to the UK with years of dental nursing experience, I was sure that I could progress my career in the field I was best at. However, my enthusiasm was short-lived when I tried to apply for a university course. During an open day at my dream university, I learned I did not have the necessary qualifications on paper to meet the entry requirements. Despite my disappointment and many enquiries later I discovered that an Access Course through DistanceLearningCentre.com could open the doors I needed. I was very apprehensive at first as I had not studied for a while however having spoken to the team at DistanceLearningCentre.com I was excited to get started as they reassured me that studying with them was the right decision. They helped me to find the right course with them that would ensure I had the required credits I needed. Once enrolled, I found the content of the course very interesting and relatable to my field which made my journey with DistanceLearningCentre.com that much smoother.

After a few months of studies, the pandemic hit, and my family suffered the loss of a very close family member which was very tough. Despite the difficulties I was facing, along with holding down my full-time job and supporting my young family, I found my tutors to be very supportive and encouraging which kept me on track and helped me to achieve the required grades to enable me to progress closer to my career goals. I would not think twice in recommending DistanceLearningCentre.com to anyone who is looking to progress their career or to study for a new one. (Nov 2020)

Each tutorial I had was insightful and educational and kept me motivated - Dawn Evans

Dawn Evans

When I left the Royal Navy in February 2019 after 23 years' service, I never thought for one second, I would be heading to university in September 2021 to retrain as a midwife, as I found myself in the United States supporting my husband for a 2 and half year military appointment, looking after our two young children and considering my next career move. I had always been fascinated by midwifery and working in healthcare but was unsure about embarking on such a different career path as I did not possess the required educational qualifications to undertake a BSc in Midwifery at any university.

After conducting some online research, I discovered that an Access to Higher Education Diploma with science was the qualification I needed. However, achieving this via online learning was my only option whilst living overseas. I discovered DistanceLearningCentre.com after further higher education research, and applied to do their Access to Higher Education Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery which I started in April 2020, just as the Covid pandemic really began impacting life in the USA.

With the schools shutting down and having both kids at home full time, I persevered with the course in between home schooling and keeping the house running. I was utterly determined that I wanted to apply for a university place for when we eventually got back to the UK in August 2021, but at times I felt I had no chance of achieving my aim. However, throughout the 12 months of studying with DistanceLearningCentre.com, the support I was given from both of my tutors was absolutely incredible. Nothing was too much trouble for them. Each tutorial I had was insightful and educational and kept me motivated in completing the individual course sections.

Whilst I had achieved an offer, I still had much work to do to meet the grade requirement but both my tutors kept me focused, on track, encouraged me and pushed me academically to achieve the grades I needed. I never thought I would ever go to university in my lifetime; I thought I was too old and would never achieve the academics required to be considered. I cannot thank my tutors enough. They are the reason I am going to university this year and I am so very excited!

I highly recommend DistanceLearningCentre.com as they have helped me realise my academic potential and I have gained so much confidence in this regard as a result. The overall course really opened my eyes to the many issues and challenges I may face when entering the healthcare sector and as such I feel ready to make a real contribution to the NHS workforce whenever I get there! I just hope I will continue to do my tutors proud as I embark on my new journey into midwifery. Thank you so much DistanceLearningCentre.com! (July 2021)

I am so thankful and lucky to have found DistanceLearningCentre.com who made my path to university so easy and supported - Cat Holden

Cat Holden

I left high school at 15 years old following mental health issues, leaving me with no GCSEs or A-Levels. I managed to get some GCSEs by myself, but doing A-Levels or higher education without help seemed daunting. My future in education and dream of studying Forensic Psychology at University felt almost not worth pursuing.

I searched far and wide and found DistanceLearningCentre.com who appeared to have rave reviews, which I can now confirm are accurate from my own experience. I was unfamiliar with being set work and meeting online with a tutor and was very concerned about how difficult the course would be as I had been out of education for so long, but I was worrying about nothing. My tutor was fantastic, timely, knowledgeable and extremely supportive; all feedback was personalised and truly centred on me reaching the highest standards of work that I wasn't even aware I was capable of.

After a long period of uncertainty about my future, I finally feel fully prepared for university and all of the standard procedures that come with higher education such as essays, UCAS system, corresponding with tutors and even things I had no idea about like Harvard Referencing!

I am so thankful and lucky to have found DistanceLearningCentre.com who made my path to university so easy and supported. I truly had given up on pursuing education before starting this course and feel I have gained back my confidence in my own intelligence and capabilities. I even received 5 offers from universities for Forensic Psychology and cannot wait to start at my first choice University this year!

Thank you DistanceLearningCentre.com, I wouldn't be here without you. (July 2021)

I just wish I could continue studying with them - Daniel Baggs

Daniel Baggs

When I was doing my A Levels, I had no idea what I actually wanted to do at university. This means when I did go to university, I was not interested in the course I chose and ultimately dropped out after the first year.

Since, I’ve been trying to discover what I actually want to do in life. I have never really considered the sciences before, because I never developed a passion for them at school. Many of my friends work in scientific fields, and they inspire me every day about the work they do, and I started to wonder whether this would be the right fit for me.

A-Levels were impractical, and I didn’t even know Access Courses existed until I found DistanceLearningCentre.com. My main mission was to discover when I finish the course whether:

  1. Did I enjoy learning about the sciences?
  2. Did I confidently tackle the assessments and achieve high marks?
  3. Do I want to learn more?

Fortunately, the answer to all those questions was a massive ‘YES!’. DistanceLearningCentre.com helped me discover my passion for the sciences for which I previously never considered and always thought they were inaccessible to me. The nature of the course meant that you had the opportunity to translate your efforts into higher grades. I loved the format – you were given the starting points through the materials, and then it was up to you to research further to build comprehensive answers to the assessment criteria.

There were times where I’d find myself going “I’ll never be able to do this”, but support from the tutors was fantastic, and being able to overcome the initial self-doubt through support and extensive research became a euphoric feeling, and validated the reasons why I wanted to go into the sciences at university.

I have achieved 45 distinctions and this means I have a wide range of options when it comes to studying at university. DistanceLearningCentre.com has crucially taught me the study skills required for university which is by far the most important thing. I’m sure I’ll find myself in situations at university where I’m stuck, or not completely “getting” the content, but I’ve shown I can overcome this through the Access course. DistanceLearningCentre.com has ultimately helped me unlock what I want to do in life, and I’m so grateful for the support they have given me.

I just wish I could continue studying with them! (July 2021)

PS: Your Individual Learning Plan (ILP) is a simple but amazing tool. Use it!

I now feel fully prepared to start my journey into higher education - Amy Jodrell

Amy Jodrell

Due to struggles with my mental health throughout my adolescence, I didn’t achieve the correct grades to attend university at that time. I wasn’t sure which direction my life was heading in. So, during the COVID-19 lockdown, I decided to start the Access to Higher Education course in Psychology and Criminology, as I was ready for a career change, and felt ready to take the next step.

I was nervous at first, as I wasn’t sure if this style of learning would suit me, or if I was even capable of succeeding. I am so glad I took a chance and pushed myself, because 5 months later I finished the course with all distinctions and received multiple offers to study Children’s Mental Health at university. I couldn’t believe it and I couldn’t be more excited to help other children who are struggling with their own mental health, just as I once did.

I had two wonderful tutors who supported me throughout my studies and provided me with helpful feedback which enabled me to keep improving my work. Before I started this course, I had no idea what my future held, but I now feel fully prepared to start my journey into higher education, and I am so grateful to DistanceLearningCentre.com for giving me the push I needed. Thank you DistanceLearningCentre.com. (July 2021)

I hope I am proof that it is never too late to be what you want to be – Suzy Deverell-Smith

Suzy Deverell-Smith

When I signed up to the DistanceLearningCentre.com I had a genuine fear of computers - the term ‘digital technology’ made me shiver! I had been my late husband’s fulltime carer for many years, so felt very behind with the world of study and a meaningful career seemed more of a pipe dream than a possibility. I also had very little self-belief and considered myself (at 43) too old, weary and inexperienced to navigate the digital world and effectively start over. Embarking on an online course felt like a major undertaking and presented me with a huge challenge. I felt green and all at sea, yet also excited to be taking the first steps at what felt like a pivotal moment in my life.

My tutors were fantastic and I found their knowledge and expertise inspirational. They were always supportive and it became clear, as I repeatedly uploaded and downloaded things in all the wrong places, were endowed with saintly patience! It took a fair chunk of the course to become capable and at ease with the IT side of things but I met the challenge and now feel equipped and unafraid to engage with digital technologies. And this is a good thing because I will be needing my digital education when I start my midwifery degree at the University of West England next month. This will see me fulfilling a long-held (25 year!) ambition of mine.

I hope I am proof that it is never too late to be what you want to be. I am excited, determined and filled with a new found confidence. Thank you to the DistanceLearningCentre.com for existing, and for enabling me and countless others to realise our potential and reach our goals. And thank you to my tutors for your professionalism, positivity and encouragement. You’ve definitely helped me to succeed and for that I will always be grateful. (Nov 2020)

I was able to access fantastic support, engaging and interesting learning materials and even a student community feel - Tim Stoodley

Tim Stoodley

After following the lure of money at 17, rather than sticking through with my A-Levels I found myself hitting my 30’s stuck and unable to follow my dream of studying paramedicine; that was until I stumbled across DistanceLearningCentre.com! Right from the beginning, I was able to access fantastic support, engaging and interesting learning materials and even a student community feel, something I wasn’t expecting with distance learning, more so during a pandemic!

Having suffered from a chronic mental illness during most of my adult life my confidence was low, as was my motivation. However, I was lucky enough to be assigned two fantastic tutors, who were able to spark inspiration and enthusiasm and within just a few modules I was feeling at home and confident with studying. Incredibly, I was able to complete my diploma with 45 distinctions – the highest I could achieve! Something I would never have believed possible were it not for the commitment and infectious drive from my tutors and wider DistanceLearningCentre.com staff and community.

Now I am lucky enough to be starting a degree in Paramedic Science, feeling more confident than ever and thoroughly grateful I was able to study via DistanceLearningCentre.com, who helped me navigate the process of re-entering education, apply for university and improve my functional skills, all whilst battling my own mental health, the demands of my children, a full-time job in the NHS during a global pandemic and a severe lack of self-belief.

DistanceLearningCentre.com, I owe you so much, thank you. (July 2021)

The straightforward course structure and learning plan meant that I was able to keep on top of my deadlines - Paige Wilson

Paige Wilson

After failing to secure a place on a Midwifery degree during school I truly believed I would never be good enough, disheartened I struggled to find the motivation for my A-levels and left school with poor grades.

After years of unfulfilling administration jobs, the pandemic presented the perfect opportunity for me to focus my time and energy on supporting the NHS, a lifelong ambition. I spent 4 months working on the Test and Trace campaign as a Call Handler and then took up a cleaning role at the local hospital when I saw they were advertising for support. Working throughout the pandemic in a hospital setting was tough, but extremely rewarding; it was great to go to work and finally feel like I was making a difference.

Feeling inspired, I knew there was no better time to give midwifery another go. I discussed with my managers my sustained interest in maternity care and was placed on the Obstetric Theatres before securing a role as a Clerical Officer on the Labour Ward. I signed up to DistanceLearningCentre.com as I wanted to study whilst continuing to provide support within the hospital, the flexibility of studying online allowed me to do this.

Throughout the course I have felt incredibly supported by both my supervisors, they have each demonstrated a genuine interest in my learning, going that extra mile to ensure I understood the content of each unit. The straightforward course structure and learning plan meant that I was able to keep on top of my deadlines. Receiving thorough feedback after each unit allowed me to progress throughout the course to ensure I secured the grades I needed to apply for university.

I truly believe the time and effort taken by my tutors to write me an extremely personal academic reference that expressed my enthusiasm contributed to me receiving 4/4 interviews! I received offers from each university and I am now in a position I never thought I would be, preparing for life as a student midwife. My only regret is not doing the course earlier. (July 2021)