Two mums who used to meet outside the school gates, have both been accepted on to a hotly-contested midwifery degree course at university!

Close friends Erika Bradburn and Naomi Moore, both from Old Colwyn, have just started the midwifery degree programme at Bangor University after completing the Access to Higher Education (Health Science) diploma at Coleg Llandrillo's Rhos-on-Sea campus. They both enrolled at college to gain the academic qualifications needed to apply to university to study midwifery.

Both were successfully shortlisted for the midwifery course, before being invited to one of the selection days for an interview. After an agonising wait, both were offered places on the course. Two out of the three hardest degree courses in Wales for students to get a place on are for midwifery.

The joyous duo, who spent decades away from education, used to meet regularly after picking up their young children from primary school. They are now juggling their intense study programmes with bringing up their children. Initially, both of them wanted to enrol on the Access to Higher Education course straight away, but because of their lack of relevant GCSEs, enrolled on the Skills for Further Studies course in preparation.

Single parent of three children, Erika, worked as a trainee dental nurse and also had a part-time job in Argos before enrolling at college. Being dyslexic, she was initially worried about her studies and the support available.

I needn't have been apprehensive,

said Erika,

as I was given all the support I needed with regards to my extra learning needs, and everybody in the college was so approachable. I learned so much in such a short time. I also gained 4 GCSEs and made lifelong friends.

Erika added:

College has massively helped me achieve my goal. When I am asked whether I would recommend that someone should return to education after such a long lay-off, I say absolutely! I have gained so much more than just an education.

Mother-of-two Naomi, followed a similar learning path to Erika, but had to juggle her studies with looking after her children, as well as being a foster carer.

Before starting her studies at college, Naomi had been working in the retail and catering industries. She said:

I was 39 when I started college and was a little worried that I was too old to start all over again: it was 22 years since I last sat in a classroom.

I learned about lots of subjects that I thought I would not be interested in and I have found out that I have abilities and talents that I didn't know I had. Whatever age you are I would say go for it. It can change your life; just do it!

As well as completing her Access to Higher Education diploma with distinctions in all subjects, Naomi achieved A and B grades in her four GCSEs.

Bangor University's School of Health Care Sciences offers a full-time, three-year Bachelor of Midwifery (Hons) degree programme leading to registration as a midwife with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

To find out more about our courses in Access to Higher Education, please visit: www.gllm.ac.uk/access

Or, call the Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.

Web: www.gllm.ac.uk

Email: enquiries.llandrillo@gllm.ac.uk