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Tragedy inspires degree student to help people

Published: 5th August 2020

A man from St Austell has used a terrible tragedy as the catalyst for a new career as a paramedic.

Mark Gratton, 44 from St Austell, spent 23 years working in the printing industry, but a heart-breaking accident fuelled his desire to help others through his work.

“In November 2018, an elderly lady unfortunately passed away at my place of work and my inability to provide first aid made me feel useless and sad that I couldn’t help her more,” he explained.

“This prompted me to put myself on a first aid course and while on this, I realised that I found it extremely interesting and wanted to do and know more.”

Mark looked into joining the ambulance service with an end goal of becoming a paramedic, before enrolling on the Access to Higher Education Science diploma.

“I started the Access course at Cornwall College St Austell in September 2019 and can honestly say that it’s been an amazing experience,” he said.

“Having been out of education for so long, it was such a relief to get the most fantastic tutors and classmates that have made the experience so worthwhile.”

Mark achieved straight Distinction grades on the course and has subsequently been offered a place to study a degree in Paramedic Science at the University of Plymouth this September.

“It’s great that about six of my classmates will also be studying various subjects in the same building at the University of Plymouth, so we still get to stay in touch,” he added.

The Access courses at Cornwall College are designed as a stepping stone for adults aged over 19 looking to progress on to higher education, but who may be lacking the right qualifications or who are looking to change or develop their career. The nine month course provides students with the skills that they need to study at degree level.

The Team Lead for Access at Cornwall College, Sally Roberts, said she was “extremely proud” of Mark and his achievements.

“Mark was an excellent student and his dedication and commitment shines through in the grades he has achieved consistently through the course,” she continued.

“It is wonderful to see Mark one step closer to his dream career working as a paramedic.”

The Cornwall College Group has a new, highly experienced leadership team, which is focused on quality experiences and outcomes for learners across its campuses.

For more information on the Access to HE courses in science, nursing, health and social care, social work and social science available with The Cornwall College Group, please visit or call 0330 123 2523.


# cornwall # access # staustell # highereducation # acesstoHE



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