A 46-year-old woman from Chapel St Leonards is beginning 2018 a step closer to her ‘dream’ career after once fearing she was too old to go to college.
Paula Swain, of Eastview Close, has overcome a number of family challenges to pursue her ambition to train to be an operation department practitioner - an achievement recognised when she was awarded the title of Learning Achiever of the Year at Skegness Business Awards.
The Standard caught up with Paula in-between commutes to the University of Leicester where she is studying.
Paula who was at the awards with her husband, Patrick, now in remission from cancer, recalled how she couldn’t stop crying after receiving her trophy from Ian Dickinson, Business Manager at First College.
The former teaching assistant at King Edward VI Academy in Spilsby said: “I was very shocked. I couldn’t believe it.
“It’s been my dream to be an operation department practitioner since working as a porter at Louth Hospital and caring for those less fortunate.”
She applied to join the course through the Lincolnshire Regional College in July 2014 at a particularly difficult time of her life when she and her husband, who have eight children between them, where struggling following family bereavements and fighting to save their home.
Paula said: “T thought I was too old to apply and couldn’t believe it when I was accepted onto to the course.
“It’s been tough but it just shows you should always go for your dreams.”