Student midwife Danielle Holden loves her career, bringing new life into the world and caring for mums both before and after they give birth.
It’s a world away from the building society career she started aged 18, after she finished her A' levels, selling financial services to customers and meeting targets.
Danielle (29), from Colne, said: “Life’s too short to get stuck in a job that doesn’t satisfy or fulfil you. When you have children, it’s important to be a great role model for them.”
Danielle, a mother to Oscar (seven), Esmee (five) and Isla (three), is married to Carl, an engineer at
Rolls-Royce. She says it was her own experiences of the professionalism and support of midwives that led to her considering a career change.
She said: “I began to think to myself, I could do this, too, and that’s how my dream was born. My next step was to call Student Services at Burnley College and they were brilliant.
" We went through my qualifications and the options open to me.
"The tutors involved in my Access Course were fantastic, too. I couldn't have got through the work and emotional rollercoaster without them.”
Danielle studied a one-year Access to University course at Burnley College, studying two nights a week and was accepted to study midwifery at Bradford University.
Her first year of study took her into the community, caring for mums both before and after birth and working with a multi-disciplinary team and in the second year she was introduced to the labour ward and delivery suite.
She said: “It was an amazing experience to work in the delivery suite and it made me realise that everything I’d put into my studies to get to this point had been worthwhile.
"It was an overwhelming, exciting experience, being able to share such an important moment in a woman’s life and being able to make a difference to her experience.”
In her third and final year, Danielle chose a placement at Bradford Birth Centre to develop her knowledge of the diverse needs of women from different backgrounds and is now working with her own caseload of women in the final stages of pregnancy and will care for them through labour and after giving birth.
She added: “This is a huge responsibility which will prepare me for registration.
"It’s scary but I feel ready for this challenge, thanks to the support from my community mentor.
"I am also undertaking a research review of literature surrounding women's experiences of maternity care which I am very passionate about.
"I never in a million years thought I was capable of doing either of these things when I started my journey back into education.
“The support I have received along the way has been absolutely amazing.
"Of course, it’s been hard work and lots of studying and revision, but I couldn’t have done it without help from family and friends rallying round to the university staff being there when I needed them and Student Services at Burnley College pointing me in the right direction and then helping me, with my tutors, to make my university application as strong as possible.
“I knew I couldn’t settle for a life and career that didn’t fulfil me – now I’m nearly there and soon I’ll be a midwife.
"My advice to anyone who feels the same way as I did is just go for it – make your mind up and make that first step.”
For more information about starting a new career visit www.burnley.ac.uk/adult for a list of courses or ring Student Services team on 01282 733373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org