"An accident was the best thing that happened to me"

21 March 2019
Tamara Cassells, a Care Support Worker from Ripon is close to fulfilling her career dreams of becoming a qualified Physiotherapist thanks to Middlesbrough College and the new Access to Health Distance Learning course.

As an avid lover of horse riding and sports, Tamara has always been involved in competitions and riding, but was unsure what career direction to take. After being involved in a terrible horse riding accident where Tamara broke her hips, back and pelvis, she thought her riding days were over. But with the help of physiotherapy, Tamara is back competing and has made a full recovery and now she wants to help others, like her, to recover and get back on the horse. 

Tamara said “The accident was awful. It should have killed me it was that bad but it was one of the best things that ever happened to me as I found a passion for Physiotherapy.

“When I was receiving treatment for my riding injuries I was fascinated by the Physiotherapist and constantly was asking questions about the job and everything he was asking me to do as part of my own therapy. I found it so interesting!

“I also saw first-hand the effects of this life changing profession and I decided that I wanted to become a qualified Physiotherapist in order to help others.”

Tamara works a 40 hour week at Harrogate Hospital as part of the Therapy team. Tamara said “Working as part of the team has also massively helped me to decide what career to pursue. My job confirmed to me that I needed to work to help people as the job satisfaction is awesome.”

Now she is studying the flexible Access to Higher Education Diploma in Health Distance Learning programme at Middlesbrough College- a new online Access course that allows students to learn whilst they work to improve their future career prospects. The course is taught as a 100% online distance learning programme and allows students to fit study around their own schedule.

Tamara said “I was fairly nervous about returning to education after 8 years, but Middlesbrough College came highly recommended and the course is absolutely perfect for me. From day one it has been by far one of the best choices I have ever made.

“My tutor Ian is brilliant, he is incredibly helpful and understanding and always on hand to help whether that be by phone, email or via our Facebook group page. He answers all my questions no matter how silly they are and we have regular skype calls to catch up on my work.

“I honestly would be doomed without the flexibility that the course offers as I need to work full-time to support myself and I would never want to give up horse riding! The course can be studied at home, in my own time and at my own pace so I can balance all of my commitments. It is intense but I love it!”

Tamara was 1 of 621 applicants who applied for the Physiotherapy course at Teesside University and is now 1 of just 55 applicants with a conditional offer for the programme.

Tamara said “In a short space of time I have gone from reluctantly applying to College to applying to my chosen university and I am over the moon to have secured a place to study my dream degree! I couldn’t recommend Middlesbrough College and their Access to Heath Distance Learning course enough! Everyone should do it! It opens up so many doors for your future.”

The Access to Health Distance Learning programme is popular and in demand by learners, find out more and apply to confirm your place for September here.


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