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A return to education can definitely be daunting, but it can also mark the next step in your career journey, creating aspirational dreams and bringing them into reality. No matter what your reasons are for returning to education later in life, a second chance is possible; and Waltham Forest College is here to help you see it through.

Waltham Forest College is a vibrant and aspirational further education college located in the heart of Waltham Forest offering courses for both young people and adults. The College is considered one of London’s most successful colleges and has been graded ‘Good’ by Ofsted, voted London’s #1 College for ‘Learner Satisfaction’ by students two years in a row, and announced as a WorldSkills UK’s Centre of Excellence.

Paving the way for your success, the College offers support in the form of financial aid such as bursaries, childcare assistance, and free breakfast for all students so that everyone can achieve their very best. Priding itself on being an inclusive college and an anchor institution within the community, Waltham Forest College is committed to ensuring no student is disadvantaged and that the curriculum is accessible and meets the requirements of the learners’ needs.

One person who utilised all that the College had to offer is Mercy Johnson, who studied Pre-Access to Nursing at Waltham Forest College earning a distinction, before moving on to higher levels of study, Access to Nursing and Midwifery.

mercy johnson

Growing up in Africa, Mercy was unable to fulfil her dream of becoming a nurse, and personal circumstances meant that she had been unable to even begin her journey into becoming a qualified nurse. After moving to the UK and establishing her family, it was Waltham Forest College that allowed her to pursue her passion in healthcare and watch with pride as she flourished.

“I was supported by many staff across different departments. I was able to access financial support for childcare and travel which really helped as, without it, I may not have been able to continue my studies. I will also never forget the one-to-one support that was provided to me when I was submitting my UCAS application.”

After completing her work at the College, Mercy was able to transfer her skills to a new kind of classroom, working on her degree in Adult Nursing at Middlesex University and exceeding even her own expectations by graduating with a 1st Class Honours.

“I am really proud of my journey and words cannot describe how I feel. Whenever I see my result I am always smiling at my achievement and I have become a proud role model for my children”

Now working part-time as a nurse at North Middlesex University Hospital, with plans to specialise further or even to study a Master’s degree, Mercy has a very simple message for anyone feeling stuck or unable to make a start on their own career path.

“I would recommend Waltham Forest College as the destination to start your aspirational goal as the College offered me the support, confidence and foundation to progress to higher education and although the journey was hard work, it has certainly paid off for me”

A true testament to the fact that a little support and kindness goes a long way, Mercy’s journey is utterly unique and yet also something that thousands can relate to. If you’re looking to forge a new path for yourself but you’re in need of a little assistance to get over the finish line, Waltham Forest College is ready and waiting to meet you.

The College will be hosting its next open event for those who are interested in starting a course on Wednesday 18th May 2022, 4pm – 7pm. You can register online via the College website or walk in on the day.

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