Helen Page has received a special award for overcoming her multiple learning disabilities to study for the Registered Veterinary Nurse qualification. The annual Tom Moulton Award for Outstanding Dedication and Commitment was presented to her by Ms Cathy Cottridge from the Southend Soroptomists, sponsor of the award, at a dinner on Saturday 17 November at Westcliff Highschool for Boys in Essex.
27-year old Helen, from Clacton, has to manage three conditions: Aspergers, Dyspraxia and Dyslexia. Despite these challenges, she successfully achieved a first-class honours degree in Zoology, graduating in 2015. She had always wanted a career working with animals but was unable to secure a permanent job, despite making hundreds of applications and attending many interviews.
Southend YMCA delivers a programme called Talent Match, which gives unemployed 18-24 year olds support and guidance to help them move into the workplace. Helen’s YMCA mentor, Mrs Katharyn Harriss, worked with her to build her confidence and interview skills and this resulted her securing two jobs, including a paid maternity cover at the Donkey Sanctuary in Dorset. In February 2017, she moved back to Essex and began working at Medivet as a Patient Care Assistant. She is now a First Year Student Veterinary Nurse at our Medivet Training College.
Ms Gemma Cresswell RVN, Medivet Area Manager, added: “All of Helen’s colleagues at Medivet are extremely proud of how far she’s come. We have all done our best to support her and it’s great to see her enjoying her training. She will make a wonderful veterinary nurse.”
Katharyn Harriss said: “When I saw the title 'Outstanding Dedication and Commitment,' I knew that I had to nominate Helen for this award. When I first met her, she was struggling but her journey over the last three years has been amazing. The work environment is not easy for her as her learning difficulties cause her challenges that often aren’t obvious to others but it has always been her dream to work with animals and she has let absolutely nothing get in her way.”
Helen Page said: “Winning this Award is a great honour and will inspire me to continue to work towards my goal of becoming a Registered Veterinary Nurse. I’d like to thank the YMCA Southend and TalentMatch for the support they have given me and, of course, the great team at Medivet which has supported me every step of the way.”