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. Email us if you would like to be included in the next edition or just email us.

Marie Nelson

Class of 2008, Drama with Creative Writing

Marie is now an independent author and publisher specialising in the Steampunk genre. She is currently working on a series of adventure novels, and she is very excited to announce her first novel was published recently. "I have had people from all over the world contacting me to say how much they enjoyed it. That is a really special feeling!"

"When I first started university I had no idea what I wanted to do, and then I realised that creating worlds makes me happy. Uni changed my life as it made me more confident and made me realise that I could achieve anything if I put the work into it.  I also actually met my husband at university and I have many friends that I will always stay in contact with online.” Marie strongly believes that if you can work hard and get a degree then you can work hard and get anything you want!

Marie is now booked onto book signing events in the North West and is looking forward to continuing her writing.

Keep up to date with Marie's work on her Facebook page.

Gillian Rhodes

Class of 2013

Gillian is a university partner college alumnus from  Blackburn University Centre and completed her UoC degree in Professional Practice in Complementary Therapies.

Gillian is now self employed at BL Bodycare in Blackburn offering complementary therapies, specialising in the Bowen Technique, whilst also studying for a masters in occupational therapy at our Fusehill Street campus.

“It has been very satisfying to gain my degree, having withdrawn from education previously. It has opened up many different experiences and given me a great opportunity to expand my own business in the future, not to mention given me financial security and the potential for work overseas.  I am proud that I have followed my dreams and succeeded, despite others' perceptions.”

Gillian is now looking forward to completing her master’s degree in 2015 and use her expertise in the future to help people achieve their goals and be the best version of themselves.

Lucy Knowles

Class of 2012, PGDip Youth and Community Development Work

Originally from Lancaster Lucy now lives in New Zealand working for IHC New Zealand, who are one of the country’s longest running disability providers,  as a Youth Transition Co-ordinator and Youth Development Project Manager for Wellington and the Hutt Valley.

It made me able to pursue my career overseas and have the best experiences in my work and end up in a managerial position in New Zealand working in the disability sector in the capital for one of New Zealand’s longest running disability providers.

“After uni I decided to go overseas to Australia, Melbourne where I worked as a residential youth worker for a year and then travelled to New Zealand with my experience and courage and I was rewarded with a great position that I had aspired to for a number of years.”

Lucy is very ambitious for the future, eventually wanting to work for the Ministry of Social Development as a policy advisor and lecture at Wellington Institute of Technology as part of their youth work degree. “Youth work as a profession in New Zealand is a very new concept so I feel coming from a country with a history of youth work practice I am in a great position to mentor and advise in this area.”

Caroline Nash

Class of 2004, Contemporary Applied Arts and Class of 2006 MA Contemporary Applied Arts and also former staff member!

After graduating from her MA, Caroline worked as a Technician/Demonstrator in the Ceramics department at the UoC. Alongside her job, Caroline set-up her own handmade ceramics business, which grew to a size where she had to give up working at the UoC after 5 happy years and surrender to the call of her pots! She’s at her happiest when covered in porcelain!

Caroline annually exhibits at events such as The Spring and Autumn Fairs, SECC Glasgow, The British Craft Trade Fair, Harrogate, Home and Gift Show, Harrogate and Country Living Fairs. She also teaches Ceramics workshops for Trinity Adult Education, Carlisle, Tullie House Museum, Carlisle and So Sew Pretty, Dumfries.

Her work is inspired by being ‘in-and-out of the garden’, including ranges for indoors and out. Her ceramics are quirky, fun and functional with a vintage feel.

Caroline’s work can be seen in many outlets across the country, locally, she has work at Poppi Red in Hawkshead, Grasmere Garden Village, Lanercost priory in Brampton, Low Sizergh Barn, South Lakes, Wordsworth House in Grasmere, Holme Bistro in Carlisle and Ashbridge and Brown in Carlisle.

Caroline has her own studio/workshop in Rockcliffe just outside Carlisle where all of her pottery is made. She shares this with her partner Paul and his business Tech4 Office Equipment. Watch this space as she shall soon be running workshops from her studio! 

Earlier this year, Caroline found out that she had got a different kind of pot in her kiln! A baby! Due on the 25 September 2014, she is very excited!

Check out Caroline's work on her website www.caroline-nash.co.uk

Louise Bramley

Class of 2011, Joint Honours Musical theatre and Drama. 

After her degree, Louise immediately set about looking for career opportunities within the performance field.

Initially finding work as an entertainer at a small holiday park near the university.  Although not exactly what she was hoping for she gained experience performing small cabaret spots and hosting  in front of a public audience . “I enjoyed this position so much that afterwards I began working for a highly successful holiday park chain for two seasons. It was here I was able to perform in high energy shows that allowed me to utilize my singing and acting skills, as well as drastically improving my dancing skills.

It was from this past experience Louise then had a successful audition for Disney Cruise Lines. “I had to perform a dance routine, host two scripts, perform a personal written piece and complete an interview. I was successful and I began working for Disney Cruise Lines as a Youth Entertainment Hostess in August 2013.

Working for the largest entertainment company in the world has opened numerous doors for me and given me an excellent experience. It is very hard work at times but is very rewarding and I feel very lucky to work for them as a performer. Who would have thought that such success could stem from a tiny holiday park near Carlisle?”

Ian O’Grady

Class of 2003, Outdoor Studies.

After university Ian worked for the Outward Bound Trust delivering outdoor education programmes for young people and disaffected youth, and travelling extensively as a professional kayaker, white water raft guide, climbing and mountaineering instructor. 

Ian has now been serving in the Royal Air Force for 7 years, as a Crewman on RAF Merlin Helicopters with 78 Sqn. “He has a wealth of experience of land and sea kayak expeditions and has completed many adventure races and endurance events. He has always had a taste for the obscure and unique challenges that the outdoors can offer.”

Now Ian has just completed his most exciting challenge yet, as part of the Beeline Britain team completing the first ever straight-line journey from Lands End to John O’Groats, a total of 1,100km. The team also included a retired Army Captain and Team GB Paralympian, a professional kayak coach and the first Welsh woman to reach the summit Mount Everest.

It took 28 days to kayak, cycle, mountain bike and hike their way across the UK, completing two record breaking sea crossings on route, including the longest open sea kayak crossing in UK waters; 34 hours of non-stop kayaking over 200km.

News of the challenge made the national press and they continue to fundraise for BLESMA, the limbless veterans charity. You can donate on Just Giving.

Words and images kindly used with permission from Beeline Britain.

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