“I always remember feeling embarrassed to talk about my upbringing and where I was from. I grew up in a single parent household in an area of deprivation within Birmingham. I often remember my mother giving me the last pennies out of her pocket just so that I wouldn’t miss out and could go out with friends. Now that I’m older I’ve realised how much she went without and I feel lucky I’m in the position I am now to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
Throughout school I developed an ambition to work in animal care, so I took the option to complete a Level 3 BTEC. When I tried to apply for university to become a vet, I didn’t realise the barriers I’d face with not picking A Levels as I’d just assumed the BTEC was equivalent. With a number of declines, and offers only at universities too far away, I didn’t think I’d manage to get a degree. I remember my mother trying to calculate how she could support me but going to university, paying course fees and accommodation costs was something that just felt unattainable. I then decided to think about other career prospects.