Kyle Bentley is pursuing his dream career and encouraging other adults to do the same, following the completion of his course at Bournville College.
The 32-year-old from Erdington, Birmingham, made a brave decision last year to quit a full time job as a pub manager and go back to education, in pursuit of a career as a mental health nurse.
“I’ve been interested in mental health for a very long time. Mainly because I grew up around it, I have friends who have suffered from it and even had a brief spate myself. I had already made the decision I was going to leave the pub trade, as I was burnt out. Mental health was something that really resonated with me and I thought I could make a positive difference in people’s lives by becoming a mental health nurse, which meant returning to education.”
Education wasn’t something a teenage Kyle took too seriously and he left school with few qualifications. So in order to study mental health nursing at university, he needed to complete a one year Access course at college. After visiting an Open Day at Bournville College and talking to many people about how to achieve his dream, Kyle signed up for the Access to Health course.
Kyle is now in his first year at Birmingham City University and he came back to Bournville College to share his experience with the new crop of Access students. He spoke to students about the university application process and the experiences of his first six weeks at university. The students were very interested in hearing from Kyle about work placements, which are a prominent feature of his degree course.
When reflecting on his time at college, Kyle said, “I didn’t just benefit from my qualification that got me into university, I also got an opportunity to teach by taking a tutorial in the sociology module. Perhaps more importantly, I gained a self-belief that I am not as dense as I first thought. Having left school with little by the way of qualifications, I’ve realised that I am capable of learning. As my mind has been opened more educationally, looking at what is happening around me, I’m also more able to have the courage of my convictions when there is something I don’t agree with. Going to college, even as an adult, has really helped me grow as a person.”
Kyle’s ambition is to work in a secure mental health unit once he has graduated and we wish him every success. Want to follow in Kyle’s footsteps? Check out our Access to University courses here https://www.sccb.ac.uk/courses/access-to-higher-education or come along to the next Open Day on 22nd January 4-7pm.