A place at university for determined dyslexia sufferer

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Staff reporter

A MUM from Wrexham who suffers from dyslexia is getting set for university – 27 years after she left school.

Davina Jones from Hightown will start a three-year BA honours degree course in health and social care at Bangor University this autumn – after gaining a prestigious award from Coleg Harlech.

The 43-year-old, who left school at 16 with few qualifications and who has two grown-up sons, didn’t even know she was dyslexic until she was diagnosed at the college.

But she has made up for lost time since last September and was presented with the Silyn Roberts Award for excellence in gaining a Foundation Certificate in Access to Nursing at the college’s graduation ceremony.

Davina, who is divorced, wants to work in the mental health care sector and said: “I had been a full-time mum and had carried out voluntary work then one day I saw an advert in the paper and thought why not and my sons, Terence and Michael, encouraged me.

“I used to run the local youth football team in Hightown and I had worked with the British Heart Foundation and took part in counselling courses at Caia Park but education hadn’t been very helpful to me, I only found out when I got to Coleg Harlech that I was dyslexic.

“But it’s been brilliant here at the college and the staff and the other students have been fantastic and perhaps with me being from an older generation I’ve been able to help them too.”

Lecturer Mark Jenkins said: “Davina started off doing short courses in the community and just progressed from there and getting better and better.

“She realised she was able to undertake much more learning even though she had been out of education for a long time while she brought up a family.

“Her children said, ‘It’s your time now, Mum,’ and so she came to Coleg Harlech and she has really worked hard and been a huge help to her fellow students.”
Davina added: “I’m really looking forward to it, even to Freshers’ Week, I can hardly believe it.

“But it’s been a real experience being here. It’s quite cut off but it’s lovely and it’s what you make of it.”

Coleg Harlech principal Trefor Owen said: “Coleg Harlech really is a college of second chances, it’s never too late to come here and to get back on the learning trail.

“We provide a wide range of courses and educational opportunities, both here at Harlech and at venues and workplaces across North Wales and North Powys.

“Many of our students go on, like Davina, to university and there their life experiences make them a valuable part of the student intake and we’re just glad to have been able to help them fulfil themselves.”

For more information about the courses offered by Coleg Harlech contact the student admissions officer, Julie Roberts, by ringing 01766 781900 or emailing info@fc.harlech.ac.uk. You can also log on to: www.harlech.ac.uk

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