Aspiration Awards 2022 - Against All Odds Highly Commended: Beth Ingoe
Designed to recognise learners who have overcome difficult personal circumstances in order to succeed in their studies, the Against All Odds award is very special and always attracts a huge volume of nominations. Beth Ingoe, a Health and Social Care learner at Blackburn College, was awarded Highly Commended in this year’s judging.
A difficult start
Beth had a difficult start to her time at college, due to numerous personal hurdles which greatly impacted her attitude towards learning and attendance.
In addition to being a young carer for her mother, Beth has recently experienced the trauma of losing her sister to suicide. When her grandmother, who played a huge part in Beth’s life, died of cancer, she began to struggle with her own mental health and started to misuse alcohol and drugs as a coping method.
College star – turning her life around
After a turbulent start to college, where Beth had low attendance and refused to attend her placement, she has now turned everything around. After encouragement from Blackburn College, Beth has improved her attendance to more than 90%, and she’s now submitting all her assignments on time and to a high standard.
As part of the Level 2 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care, Beth has been undertaking a placement in a nursery, where she was offered a part-time job as they were so impressed with her efforts.
Beth commented: “When I started college, I was drinking and taking drugs regularly and didn’t want to attend my classes. I was in a bad place as I’d had a difficult time with a lot of personal upsets happening all at once, and I was struggling to cope with everything. I think I saw drink and drugs as a way to forget all the bad things that had been happening.
“The tutors at Blackburn College have been really supportive and understanding. They’ve signposted me to support services and helped me to believe in myself. I’m now clean of alcohol and drugs and I am focusing on my college work.
“I was delighted to be offered a part-time job in the nursery where I am undertaking my placement, and I also have a part-time job in a bakery. I feel like I’ve come a long way since starting the course. I could never imagine I’d be working hard in college and holding down two jobs at the same time.
“My ambition is to become a paramedic as I’ve seen first-hand the benefits and impact their work makes, as they have helped my mother on numerous occasions since I was very young.”
Beth’s tutor, Gayle Fenna, said: “I’m extremely proud of Beth and how she has worked so hard to improve her attendance and attitude towards college. Beth did amazingly well at placement and received a College Star award in recognition of the positive feedback from her employer as well as commitment to her course. Beth has really turned things around and achieved more than she would have thought possible.
“Beth has real drive and determination to achieve her dream of becoming a paramedic, and I’m sure with the hard work and commitment she has shown that she will make her dreams a reality.
“I’m so pleased that Beth has been recognised by NCFE for all her hard work and dedication. She has come such a long way during her time with us and is very deserving of the highly commended award.”
Beth added: “I’m really shocked that I’ve been awarded highly commended. When I heard that I’d been put forward for an award, I didn’t think I would have a chance of winning. I’m really pleased with how far I have come since starting college and being awarded highly commended shows that my efforts have been worth it.”