Memories from a long-serving Stockport College student

Memories from a long-serving Stockport College student

Nathaniel Yates shares his memories and gives thanks, after studying with Stockport College for the past seven years.

First of all I would like to say a huge thank you to all the students and all the staff that I’ve met at Stockport College. They have all influenced my life in some way throughout the years.

I suppose my college dream started in 2013 on Business Level 1, that was a year when I felt I could be proud of myself. I remember walking in and Julie and Sarah Dibben were my first tutors at the College. Sarah and Julie treated me like their own son. I also learnt how to read that year because I came to the College not knowing how to read. So I practised really really hard. Any spare moment I could get between lessons I learnt how to blend words together. I went to study sessions on this plus every lunchtime. By February 2014 you could see the progression in my reading ability so could the tutors around me. That was something special and brilliant I’ve achieved. We went on trips that year to the sweet shop in Cheadle and the Trafford Centre. What a brilliant year to start off my college experience.

In September 2014, I started my Business Level 2. We had some of the same people from Level 1 but we also had new students including James Ord and Amy Baden and we all became friends. The person assigned to assist me that year was Sam Roscoe. Sam is lovely and kind she always tried to encourage me to be positive and everyone in the class. She came in on her day off to help me because I went to Stockport County as part of a College group to come up with a shirt design to help the environment. I also got a Student of the Year award on my Level 2 Business course, Sam nominated me. We also had Sarah and Julie as tutors again and Sarah Coleman taught us finance at the end of the year. Sarah and Julie left the college to get new jobs. I am still friends with Sarah Dibben and Sara Coleman today. I miss everybody from my business classes.

ICT Level 2 2015

I left the Business Department and did an IT Level 2 course. I remember Zoe Bowers who was my support for that year. She helped me improve as a person in many ways. Zoe tried to improve my handwriting ability. I had a few friends including Ismael Khan he offered to help me when I was stuck with my work. Half way through my Level 2 ICT I had the chance to meet Tommy Kielty. He was very patient and explained everything in clear terms in lessons. This helped me a lot. On the plus side he is a United fan just like me. In 2016 I moved up to Level 3 ICT. My friend Ismael Khan also moved up with me. I had Zoe Bowers again as my support. I had a tutor called Gareth Edwards, what a character he was.

Health and Social Care 2017-2020

Wow where do I start. The tutors are amazing: Claire Cowburn, Laura Sinclair, Amy Roberts and Jo Hill and our Head of Department Lisa Radcliffe, they’ve given me so much support over my three years as a student. It has been an honour and a privilege to be taught by them and who could forget the amazing students. Amy-Leigh Smith, I’ve never seen a 20 year old with so much passion and so much desire to help people. Amy is a big superstar and I know she will succeed and go far in life with her passion. Danielle Burke, in year one of Level 3 we had such a laugh together it was amazing to see someone with the passion to help people like Danielle. Danielle bought me a beautiful bottle of unicorn gin for Christmas. In our last year, I remember we had Manchester United’s Equality Manager I’d invited in to give a talk on equality called Rishi Jain, he’s a good man and but unfortunately he’s a Liverpool fan. We have also had Steve Gore, my uncle, who came into college as a guest as part of a project I was part of, he spoke about what he did for a career.

Who could forget about Wendy Harrison who supported me? For the last two years I studied Health and Social Care, and without Wendy, and the other support workers none of my success could have been possible. And a special mention must go out to my friend and Learning Support Assistant, Rita Freeman, who has helped me on my Health and Social Care Level 2. Rita was not just an in-class support worker, she was also a friend who had an amazing kind heart.

Special friendships

I am now going to find this extremely difficult to write. Emily Hatton, Jodie Ruscoe, Corinne Harvey Abbey Walley and Emma Hieimes, they are like sisters to me. I also have one sister at home, but I forgot about the other five at college. I remember when I was quite upset at the food bank and I went back to College with Emily Hatton and she was kind and supported me through one of my most difficult periods at College. I think, and I hope, me and Emily can be friends for life as well as everyone in that class. Emma, Abbey, Corinne and Jodie all invited me to Bredbury Hall on a night out, it was amazing. They’ve always treated me as an equal and I’ve never had that from students at College before. I don’t think anyone really understands the impact the girls have made on my life.

I feel I am part of a friendship group where I am accepted for myself and not thought of as somebody with a disability. I couldn’t have asked for any more or to have better friends than these girls they’ve given me memories that will last me a lifetime and they will always be in my heart.

I know there are a few people I missed out in this article but there are just too many kind and wonderful people I’ve met at College to include everybody. This is a final shout out to everybody that I’ve met at College, you’ve made my time incredible at Stockport College and you have all shaped my life more than I can say, the memories will last a lifetime for me.