10th May 2002

 

SINGLE MUM HEADS BACK TO THE CLASSROOM

ADULT LEARNERS WEEK CASE STUDY PHOTOGRAPH AVAILABLE

 

Hessle mother-of-three Amanda King took control of her life when she turned 40 by giving her education a second chance.

 

And now shes studying for a degree in Computing at the University of Lincoln on Cottingham Road.

 

Amanda (41) had to re-assess her life when she split up with her husband. And even though she had a toddler to look after she was determined to get an education so that she could support her family properly.

 

Id left school at 16, got married at 19 and started a family when I was 24, said Amanda, who has two teenage daughters and a three-year-old son.

 

I had little part-time jobs and worked at the school as a dinner lady, but then my husband left and now Im on my own its down to me to support my family.

 

When my husband left I realised that if I took a full-time job I wouldnt earn very much money because I had no training and very little experience. If I wanted anything Id have to get an education first. So I decided to go to college, not thinking that I would end up going to university to do a degree!

 

Amanda enrolled on an access course at Hull College and then asked about computing courses at a University of Lincoln open day.

 

The staff encouraged me as a mature student and as a woman, because female computing students are few and far between! Now Im here Im finding it harder than I thought it would be, but Im enjoying it, and my tutors all say Im doing fine.

 

Amanda was pleased to discover that her studies have left her no worse off for money. I was worried about the finances because I had just enough to manage on before I came to university, she says. As it turns out Ive lost some benefits but I qualify for other benefits, and if anything now Im slightly better off than I was before.

 

Now Amanda spends her time trying to talk her friends into going back into education.

 

I knew no-one who went to university in fact, I thought only geniuses could go, she says. I didnt think Id get accepted, but now I see its attainable for everybody.

 

I tell all my friends to go to college thats the first step. I tell them theyd love it. You dont know what it will be like until you try it, and even if you have a go and dont succeed you will still gain some knowledge and experience, so youve really got nothing to lose!

 

For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042) email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk