Volunteering changed my life

I grew up in Ostrzeszow, a small town in Poland. I always knew I wanted to be a nurse, so after primary school I decided to spend five years training in medical school before going on to study at a medical university in Poznan. But life chose a different route for me and I had to postpone my study to focus on bringing up three wonderful children!

In 2007 my husband left Poland for Stockton on Tees where he had secured a job as a mechanic. Three years later, my daughter and I decided to join him with my son choosing to stay in Poland. It was an extremely difficult decision but the economic landscape was changing in Poland and we knew it was time to leave.

After arriving, I started an ESOL class in Stockton Riverside College to learn English. I met students and teachers from all different countries and it was unforgettable experience. I then went on to study Preparing to work in Adult Social Care, Interpersonal Skills, Mental Health Awareness and Employability Skills at the college.

My husband and I then bought a new house opposite the North Tees Hospital and decided to look into volunteering opportunities at the trust. Before I knew it, my application was in and I was invited in for an interview with the volunteer co-ordinator. I started work on the Day Case Unit and the atmosphere was fantastic, the staff were very friendly and extremely helpful. This reignited my passion for working with people and I knew I wanted to be nurse again.

One day I got talking to a student nurse from Teesside University and she explained I could finish the Access Course (Health) and start to study Nursing at the University. I passed my Maths and English qualifications and I started to do my Access Course. This course was the one of the most stressful courses I have experienced in my life, but I learned so many things too. It was very challenging and I spent lots of time in the library teaching myself to use various Microsoft programmes. I never thought I would be able to do it, but as a wise person once said to me “the difficult things in life can be very exciting! “In the meantime, I enrolled at the university.

In December last year I received a conditional offer to study at Teesside University, and in September this year I began my undergraduate Nursing study!

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