Working mum pushes on to win her degree

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A teaching assistant who juggled studying with two jobs and caring for her elderly mum will graduate with a degree in Children and Youth Work from Bishop Grosseteste University next week.

Mum-of-two Nolene Tear, 53, from Bracebridge in Lincoln completed her degree in three years while working as a special educational needs teaching assistant at a Lincoln primary school.

She also works as a family support worker for the Penderels Trust, mostly in the evenings and at weekends, and she’s the primary carer for her 83-year-old mother, who recently had quadruple heart bypass surgery and had to have a lung removed.

Nolene was also diagnosed with dyslexia during her course but with help from staff at BGU she was able to complete her degree.

She will graduate at 7.15pm on Wednesday 23rd July at a ceremony at Lincoln Cathedral.

“I enrolled on the degree course to enhance my career, and I’m delighted to be graduating next week,” said Nolene. “It’s been hard work with all my other commitments but it’s definitely been worth it.”

Nolene, who initially studied for a foundation degree before converting it into an honours degree, said she was shocked to be diagnosed with dyslexia.

“I was having trouble processing my thoughts and transferring them from my head onto paper,” she said. “Once the problem was identified the BGU staff were brilliant and really supportive.”

Rachael Fell Chambers, Senior Lecturer in Applied Studies at BGU, said: “Nolene was diagnosed with dyslexia during year two of her foundation degree and she has worked extremely hard to overcome her difficulties since diagnosis.

“She is a very determined student who has worked with some of the most vulnerable people across Lincolnshire while successfully completing her degree and maintaining family life.”