A Leeds mother has praised the university therapist and wellbeing service that have helped her through family bereavements and financial problems suffered over the last four years after her graduation.
Former mental health support worker Kimberley Jones, 32, relocated from Leeds to Carlisle in 2015 with her two young children to embark on a social work degree at the University of Cumbria.
Within months of starting her course, at the university’s Fusehill Street campus in Carlisle, Kimberley’s mother died suddenly. Around 18 months later, in October 2017, Kimberley went on to lose her father.
Following his death Kimberley experienced a delay of several months in receiving her student finance, an issue arising after it was agreed that she could extend her degree into an unexpected fourth year.
Kimberley has thanked the university’s wellbeing team, her fellow students and course tutors for providing her with ‘stability and support’.
In particular, Kimberley highlights the work of therapist Fred Worsley, whom she credits with stopping her from ‘dropping out’.
She said: “My personal tutor recommended the wellbeing service initially and I started seeing Fred regularly following the death of my mother.
“He told me what steps to take, helped me make a plan and speak to the university about what was happening.
“If it wasn’t for his support I wouldn’t have known what to do, how to make those connections – I wouldn’t have a degree today if it wasn’t for him.
“When my dad died I put in another request to see Fred.
“He would be the person I could go to and cry and be vulnerable if I needed to.”
Kimberley’s partner Mark and children Jack, 13, and Alexa, who is 10, joined her for the graduation at Carlisle Cathedral.