Student chalks up 60 courses

A WHEELCHAIR-bound student has notched up more than 60 courses at the Suffolk college he first joined to improve his GCSE English grade.Josh Berrett, 23, is currently doing a counselling course at West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds and has sampled all sorts of higher education since he first joined to better the English mark he gained in school.

A WHEELCHAIR-bound student has notched up more than 60 courses at the Suffolk college he first joined to improve his GCSE English grade.

Josh Berrett, 23, is currently doing a counselling course at West Suffolk College, Bury St Edmunds and has sampled all sorts of higher education since he first joined to better the English mark he gained in school.

Subjects studied by the student, who lives in Bury, include English country house life, self-awareness and assertiveness, public speaking, access to humanities and social sciences and French and Spanish.

Josh needs a wheelchair to get around but staff said he has no problems negotiating his way around college. He needs no help with written work but the college has supplied a tape recorder to help him with note taking.


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Staff are proud of his dedication to learning but Josh himself was surprised to learn he had clocked up so many courses over the past few years.

He is unsure whether his studying will take him into employment but he is now in touch with the Bury Volunteer Centre and hoping to use the skills he is currently learning to enable him to act as a befriender.

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He said: "I came to college to continue my education and I have carried on ever since. It is satisfying to complete a course and get the certificate. You meet people in class, even if it is only for a couple of hours a week.

"Bill Mallion, the counselling tutor is a nice bloke and a good teacher. He is one of those people who knows how to make a point and he is always interesting.

"Initially I thought a counselling course couldn't be that hard but actually there is quite a lot of written work. At first I thought there was no way I would be able to do it but it's not too bad once you get down to it."

He said that once he has won his counselling qualifications he wants to act as a volunteer counsellor but he also says the skills he is developing, including the ability to listen and help people find their way round problems, will be useful in everyday life.

The college is not sure whether the 60 or so courses completed by Josh make him a record-breaker but said it must push him close to the student with the highest number of higher education classes under their belt.

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