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“All the stars were aligned” for Fastrack graduate Rachel

Inspired by her daughter’s success at Edge Hill, Rachel decided to embark on the University’s Fastrack course to reach her dream of helping others, the way the Samaritans helped her.

Rachel Tedford, aged 53 from Liverpool, has experienced significant responsibilities and losses throughout her life which deeply affected her confidence, however when she witnessed how well her daughter did at Edge Hill, it encouraged her to return to higher education.

“My children are adults now, and my youngest daughter Heather has just graduated from Edge Hill with a first class degree in Nutrition and Health, which inspired me to apply for Fastrack 2018. I have attempted to do a degree twice before and have had to leave due to compelling circumstances.

“From a young age, I experienced significant responsibilities and losses. I had feelings of low self-worth and social anxiety, all of which I always did my best to hide. This eventually manifested in depression, anxiety and poor life choices. Eight years ago I found myself in the darkest place, I was drinking to cope and got into real difficulties. I eventually asked for help and support from the Samaritans and Alcoholics Anonymous, who each gave me hope and with counselling helped me forge a better way of being, for which I will always be grateful.

“Five years ago I proudly became a listening volunteer for the Samaritans and started a small business working from home. My aspirations are to be a role model for my adult children, study for a degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy, for my personal growth and so I can help others realise their potential.

“Edge Hill has supported me with excellent teaching, positive regard and a diagnosis of Dyslexia, which I will receive support for from the University’s SpLD services.”

Rachel has also been awarded a Fastrack scholarship for overcoming the odds and showing real determination to succeed.

Rachel’s Developing Academic Study Skills tutor, Collette Forrest, said:

“Rachel gave 100 per cent commitment throughout Fastrack. Quite apart from her excellent attendance, punctuality and conscientiousness she supported others and was always willing to listen to advice. The phrase “I feel so lucky to be at Edge Hill, it is such privilege to be here” will be a phrase I always assign to Rachel. She is the only student I have heard vocalise this in all my years of teaching at Edge Hill.”

After thoroughly enjoyed the course Rachel hasn’t looked back, and has some sound advice for others who are considering returning to education.

“I feel this time the stars were aligned for me. If you are considering applying for Fastrack, just do it. It’s just six weeks and time goes by so quickly. The support is there right the way through, just ask.”

For more information about Edge Hill’s Fastrack programme visit: www.edgehill.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/preparation-for-higher-education

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