Have you got an exciting new job, working on a new project, want everyone to know about your own business, had something published or exhibited? Perhaps you are getting married or had a baby? Whatever your news, we would love to hear about it and share it with your fellow alumni.


Martin Graham, Mental Health Nursing, class of 2002 

Martin Graham, I studied at St Martin's College from 2002 to 2004. I liked the idea of a small campus and smaller class sizes meaning tuition was much better quality compared to the larger universities. Being from Cumbria, I spent my first year at a large university in London but yearned to be closer to home. St. Martins offered me that chance and I never looked back. 

I remember tutors Rick Fothergill, Gordon Aindow, Fiona Cassells and Dave Pulsford. I bumped into Dave Pulsford, my dissertation supervisor, a few years ago after completing a night shift near where I live, it was a surreal experience. I recall Fiona Cassells being a very positive outgoing and fun lecturer, I used her advice during my career where she stressed the importance of self care and having PJ days on your days off. 

My friends were called Wendy, Sarah and Rebecca, they are all married now. In my spare time I would usually go to the gym or I'd spend time in pubs in Lancaster with my friends. My fondest memories are the nights out with friends, the campus and the tutors. 

I’m now a support worker for Lifeways. My job involves supporting people with learning disabilities. The most satisfying aspect of my job is promoting independence and teaching life skills. 

My ambition when I started at uni was to go into management, which I did. I'm still a registered nurse but tend to do agency nowadays as I've worked in a lot of different environments and gained a lot of experience in forensic psychiatry, acute, dementia, complex care, research and rehabilitation. I then went on to complete a masters degree in social work at a different institution but never registered in it. I'm currently at a cross roads thinking about what my next adventure will be but wherever life takes me I use every experience to learn new things and grow personally and professionally. 

University made me more confident and gave me the foundation knowledge that I built upon through many years experience in nursing. I’m most proud of gaining my master's degree. 

My words of advice for students today: University is the start of your journey through life, learning is a lifelong activity and does not end the moment you graduate. Indeed it should be viewed as the start of your lifelong learning journey. Enjoy and savor every experience good or bad, and always take something away from the experience that you can learn and improve on. 


Helen Armstrong, Creative Arts, class of 1998 

Helen Armstrong, “I chose Creative Arts at Cumbria College of Art and Design as it was a new course that was offered to those who didn't quite get the grade to go to uni and had a bit of everything on offer. I started in 1995 and completed my course in 1998. 

I recall a lecturer called Gwen something! I can't remember any others.  My friends were Paula Carter and Adrienne Slinger. I am still in touch with Sarah Doust (was Mason), Jenni Petrie, Jamie Walman. 

In my spare time as a student, I played pool and darts, went to the pubs and clubs. I worked at Carlisle United, the Wheel & Wetherspoons. 

I recall one time I walked out of the singing lesson as I was told I was tone deaf. I went to the pub! My fondest memory is just having a good laugh and making some great friends. 

I am now the Assistant Manager at Forces Support Charity Shop. I run the shop in the managers absence.  The most satisfying part of my job is meeting people from all walks of life. 

Going to college made me realise there's more to life than studying! I’m most proud of being a single mum and raising a great child with bigger and better ambitions than me and who is already living his dream. My ambition for the future is to grow old disgracefully!! 

My words of wisdom for students today: Stick in, keep your nose clean & budget! Have fun as well, you need to chill out and forget the world sometimes.” 


Jeff Shaw, Secondary Education, class of 1982 

Jeff Shaw, I chose St. Martin’s because it was a highly reputable teacher training college in what I considered to be an attractive location and setting offering a degree in the subject that I wanted to teach: geography in secondary schools. 

I remember tutors Arton Medd, Margaret Whiteside, Jim Price, Geoff Boulton, John Jennings (All Geography), Jennings (PE). They were all enthusiastic, friendly and helpful. 

Too much socialising occurred in my spare time, I was involved in the Student Union with sport and I ran the football team after inheriting it and kept it going when numbers were low. My funniest memory was the sponsored hitchhike to Paris I did with a friend and my fondest memory is the good friendly students. 

I am now a teacher at Lycée Edward Steichen Clervaux in Luxembourg. I teach Geography in a C21 multilingual school.  The most satisfying aspect of the job is working with the energy of youth and I am most proud of helping students and teachers to be confident and aspirational. 

I have had a fantastic career working on educational projects on every continent. I have mainly worked as a teacher and head of school in international schools and I want to encourage others to know that they can achieve and be happy whatever the challenge. 

Going to St. Martin’s massively influenced my life because it was a gamble as I was the only male student from my school in a cohort of 330 to venture out of Wolverhampton into higher education. 

My ambition when I started was to be a fully qualified and good geography teacher who was respected by students and colleagues. My ambition now for the future is retirement and to help others. 

My advice for students and recent graduates of today: Go for it and don't be held back by the labels and the chains that may bind. Stay grounded and humble. 

We would LOVE to hear your story! Share your student experiences and let us know what you are up to now HERE.

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