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Well done to mature students Stephanie and Sonia!

29 Nov 2021 10:19:28
Stephanie Bower and Sonia Astbury

Two members of the Trust’s Integrated Rapid Response Team have graduated from Sheffield Hallam University.  

Sonia Astbury, 64, and Stephanie Bower, 53, both Clinical Support Workers, completed their Foundation Degrees in Professional Practice in Health and Social Care (Assistant Practitioner).  

They graduated separately earlier this month – Stephanie’s ceremony was held on 2 November at Ponds Forge in Sheffield, while Sonia’s was held at the New York Stadium on 12 November.  

Stephanie said: “We are both mature students returning to study after 30 plus years and both had the most fantastic day at our graduation ceremonies. We just felt we wanted all those who helped us to feel as proud as we do to have finished our degrees.”  

Stephanie said completing their degrees while working through the pandemic was a challenge but with support and thanks to colleagues and Graham Travis, Learning and Development, Apprenticeships Manager, they made it through.  

“I am elated about passing the course and excited at what the future holds,” said Stephanie. “Hopefully I would like to continue some form of study either to obtain a Registered Nursing Degree or the top-up course to the full BSc qualification.  

“My husband and sons think it’s fantastic and joined me on graduation day to celebrate. They have been very supportive throughout and feel very proud. They are also grateful I can now take full part in all the household chores!”  

Sonia said: “It was a lovely event. My graduation had been cancelled twice due to the flooding in 2019 and then due to the Covid pandemic, so it was a long time coming, so to say.  

“My family are so proud of what I have achieved as a mature student. My motto, now having got my foundation degree, is onward and upward.”