Forty-five-year-old Wallace tells us how his HNC Social Services course is enabling him to change career and pursue his dream of becoming a mental health nurse in memory of his late son.
“Before moving to the UK, I was born and lived in Zimbabwe. I had studied a diploma in Metal Engineering in Africa but struggled to find the right kind of work in that area. In 2002, I moved to Bournemouth where I worked as a bus driver before heading north to Edinburgh (to follow my name-sake William Wallace) and continued my role in public transport. I enjoyed bus driving but it was never really what I wanted to do.
In 2016 my son was taken ill and passed away. At that point in my life, I was lost. Losing a child is the worst kind of pain, I felt that I didn’t want to carry on. I was no longer interested in going to work – what was it all for? Before he died, my son had dreamed of being a doctor and I have no doubt he would have made a wonderful practitioner. Inspired by him, and by the medical professionals who treated him during his battle with illness, I decided to pursue a career in healthcare. I want to help people, like they helped me and my family during the worst time of our lives.
In January 2017, I came to Edinburgh College to study Access to study in Health, Wellbeing and Social Science. After this, I went on to study NC Health and Social Care and I’m now studying a HNC in Social Services. Beginning my studies showed me that there is light at the end of the tunnel. My lecturers have been so supportive and encourage me to focus on what I want to achieve in life rather than look at what is behind. Their support has enabled me to get through hard times and to continue working towards my goal.
When I finish my course, I’d like to go on to study Mental Health Nursing at university and become a mental health nurse. I dream of travelling back to Africa to educate people about mental health and help as many people as I can.
Edinburgh College is where my life began again after a very tough period. Age isn’t anything but a number. No matter what happens or where you are in life, with dedication and the right support, you can achieve your goals.”