John Moran Educational - Trust Making financial awards to support the entry into higher education
 
Student Profiles

The Trust has made awards to over forty two deserving students from the Merseyside region since it was set up in 2003. Here’s more about what these students did with their awards, and what it meant to them:

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Profile eleven

I'm eighteen years old and I studied Art, Biology and Chemistry to A-Level and Physics to AS-Level at Holy Family Catholic High School in Thornton, Liverpool. I achieved AAB in these subjects respectively, which I was overjoyed with, as I found Chemistry in particular a real struggle. Art, on the other hand, was incredible and very absorbing. I could just paint for hours because it took my mind off everything else. Prior to A-Level, I had achieved 5 A*s and 6 As at GCSE, two of which were taken a year early. Outside of school, I have completed my Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards, which taught me a lot about teamwork and commitment. I have also attained Grade 6 with Merit in cello and am currently working towards my Grade 8, to be taken in October this year. I have been playing since I was eleven and it has given me such pleasure. Regular concerts with Sefton Youth String Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra, where I was principal cellist, really increased my confidence.
 
I am the first member of my family to go to university, which is very exciting as I will be experiencing everything first-hand. I will be studying Human Genetics at the University of Newcastle and can't wait to live in a different city, and study a subject that I have a real interest in. The study of genetics first gripped me when I read a book by Steve Jones, 'In The Blood'. It's a fantastic read which discusses not only the black-and-white facts of genetics, but the religious, moral and human aspects too. I then discovered another of his, titled 'The Language of The Genes', and  I am now in the middle of 'The Seven Daughters of Eve' by Bryan Sykes and 'Genome' by Matt Ridley. Together with a brief and basic introduction at A-Level, I knew this was something I wanted to pursue further.
 
It was my Head of Year who encouraged me to apply for an award from the John Moran Educational Trust, as she knew I would have financial difficulty in university otherwise. The award which the Trust have so kindly given me will be used to pay for accommodation, since being one of four (with 4 step-brothers and sisters) my parents cannot afford to pay towards my university costs. It means that I won't have to work so many hours in a part-time job in order to pay for my rent, so allowing me more time for study, because I know that my course will be intense and difficult. Past part-time jobs include being a hairdressing assistant, working in my local Spar, cleaning at my old primary school, working in a restaurant and more recently, working as a waitress and barmaid at a small cafe near where I live. I have worked since I was 15 to ensure that I can pay for my books, clothes and other school and musical essentials, but I have been unable to save for my time at university, so I am so grateful for this help.
 
I can't say thank you enough to the Trust for their help, as it will make my time spent at university so much more enjoyable.

My first year at Newcastle University has been brilliant. At first I had no idea what to expect from anything. It was very hard to get to grips with everything - moving to a new city, making new friends, being a good few miles from home, understanding a course I was quite unfamiliar with, understanding university structure, balancing work with socialising, budgeting, seemingly having an endless list of things to do, and above all - living on my own, with nobody but myself to rely on. Sounds obvious, but each had their own pool of worries and so it was a strange world at first.
 
I soon settled in though, and had some great friends from my course and who I lived with. The only niggle that persisted after everything else sorted itself out was my course. I realised, back in October, that I didn't want to continue with it. I decided to stick it out until December and then see what would happen. My personal tutor, degree programme leaders, student advice centre and many other sources of information and guidance gave me a lot of support. It was in December that I chose a different degree course, and I'm really glad that despite feeling completely unable to finish the academic year, I did. It might not be worth much on paper once I have a different degree, but for me, it was a personal goal.
 
I have opted to study Speech and Language Therapy instead of Biomedical Sciences. I just couldn't see myself doing the course for the next two years or longer or having a career linked to my Biomedical Science degree, something which is very important to me. I've chosen to study for the next four years at Sheffield University - the course there seems great and I'm really looking forward to it. Of course, it means leaving behind lovely friends, a fantastic city and a great place to live and study, but I feel I will really benefit from the change. I feel privileged to even have the opportunity to change course. A further two years of study won't be easy, including a greater financial burden, and so I wouldn't have known what to do if the Trust were not able to support me. The course eventually becomes an eight-hour day with a lot of non-contact hours to fit in around it, making part-time employment almost impossible.
 
Speech and Language Therapy is clearly going to be more intense than my first year of Biomedical Science, but I now have a renewed determination for success, which is so kindly supported by the John Moran Educational Trust.

Coming to Sheffield to start university all over again was, at first, very daunting. Although I had successfully passed my first year of Biomedical Science at Newcastle University and even though I had realized in the first week of lectures that Biomedical Science was not for me, there was a constant worry about whether I had made the right choice in transferring to the Speech and Language Therapy course at Sheffield University. However, at the same time I also had a gut feeling that changing course was the right thing to do - and looking back after a whole year here at Sheffield I'm so glad I made that decision. It was hard to leave behind a friendly place and new friends but I quickly settled into a new life in Sheffield and I haven't looked back. My course is fantastic; the actual content is hugely interesting - we learn so much in the space of an academic year but with the support of tutors and a tight-knit class (only about 30 students per year) this workload is both manageable and enjoyable. We have had the chance to visit both a stroke group and a nursery, which has been a further encouragement and insight into the field of speech and language therapy. I loved the session we had at the stroke group so much that I have applied for a volunteering position at a local hospital when I am home over summer to act as a befriender to people who have recently suffered strokes.
 
I have also had the opportunity to take part in a number of extra curricular activities this year including volunteering for ANTS (A Nice Time On Saturdays), a university organization who take bereaved children ages 8-11 on fun, stress-free daytrips (including painting pottery and going rock climbing to name just a few) into the surrounding areas of Sheffield. I have enjoyed working with this project so much this year that I was chosen to become leader next academic year. This means that I will deal with the recruitment of children on to the programme, interviewing potential volunteers and organizing the trips. I want to build on the successes of this past year as best I can and hopefully continue to improve the service that we provide for these children. I have also joined SingSoc; a large university choir who sing a mainly classical repertoire. Participation in the concerts this year, including "Uni's Got Talent", has been exciting and has enabled me to continue with my love for music. In addition, I am also a member of the Human Communication Sciences Society, and I hope to assist in the running of this society in my third year.

Looking back on my completed first year, I feel totally settled in Sheffield and on my course, so much so that I will be sad to leave for the summer!
 
I'm so relieved and happy that I can say how much I love my course. This could not have happened without the continuing and invaluable support of the John Moran Educational Trust. Without their support I would probably have had to have taken a year out to work in order to support my studies. I am so grateful that this help has led me to where I am right now and that I have been given the opportunity to start again.

Firstly, I cannot believe that I am now half-way through my degree course - my time at Sheffield has flown by so unbelievably fast! This year has been fascinating, with modules ranging from developmental disorders of communication - which includes study into autism, ADHD and learning difficulties to name just a few - to conducting our own case study research with children, which allowed great insight into their play, cognition, speech, language and communication. It has been a challenging year academically, but I have thoroughly thrived off the sense of achievement I have gained both from my grades, which are currently at a high 2:1 (and from this, I am hoping to achieve a 1st next year), and personally in providing therapy for child clients - most importantly, during that snapshot in time when you see the results. It’s an amazing experience. 

I have just finished my summer exams but it doesn't stop there. I am on placement during summer, working with adults with learning disabilities; this could range anywhere from very mild to severe. I am particularly interested in the negative consequences of such disabilities, such as social exclusion, poverty and deprivation, and why they should still exist in our society today. I am also beginning work with a blind individual within our Human Communication Sciences department, where I shall be providing study support for her Ph.D. I am humbled by her incredible achievements to date and hope that I can become both a colleague and a friend. I will also be working in University catering during summer for events such as graduation week. Because of these commitments, most importantly with the amazing ongoing support from the John Moran Educational Trust, I am overjoyed to say that I am able to support myself over summer in Sheffield. Since I come from a large and extended family, with my mum currently going through a second divorce, I cannot put into words how relieved I feel that I am able to continue my personal, academic and social growth at a distance to the difficulties at home, knowing that this will not negatively impact me financially. It is due to the continuing support of the John Moran Educational Trust that I can keep achieving, which in turn supports others. I am equally indebted both personally and financially

I have successfully completed my degree in Speech and Language Therapy and I am overjoyed that I achieved a first class honours!

I had struggled with an anxiety disorder throughout my third and fourth years and, as a result, needed to take extra time to complete my course. This was very difficult for me to cope with, and the extra time it took to complete my degree really knocked my self-esteem. At times I didn't know whether I could continue. However, looking back, I am so glad that I persevered - it was all worth it.

I am currently working as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities and I am applying for a range of different Speech and Language Therapist jobs. I am hoping to secure my first post as a Speech and Language Therapist as soon as possible.I am currently working as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities and I am applying for a range of different Speech and Language Therapist jobs. I am hoping to secure my first post as a Speech and Language Therapist as soon as possible.

It’s hard to put into words how much of an impact the Trust has had on my life. I am so very grateful for the support that I have received, both on a financial and on a personal level. The difference that the Trust has made to my life as a student and beyond is immeasurable - I can't thank you enough.