Conservation lover Helen Towle is now working in her dream job as an ecologist after completing an extended diploma in Countryside Management at Derby College. Helen, who gained a distinction in her diploma, also has a place to study wildlife conservation at Nottingham Trent University thanks to her qualification.
Since leaving college she has received several ecology job offers but has decided to work for someone else as a self-employed ecologist as it offers more flexibility.And, due to volume of work Helen has opted to defer her university place until September 2017. Helen, who is 35 always wanted to work in conservation but due to ill health when she first left school ended up working in an office before eventually becoming an accountant.
Three years ago though she decided to train for the career she had always wanted and found the extended diploma to be the perfect course. She was also able to access funding help with her studies via the 24 plus loan. Helen added:
I'm a volunteer with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and a member of Derbyshire Bat Conservation Group so the practical conservation and ecology parts of my course were the ones I enjoyed the most. The teaching at Derby College was great. Our tutors were so knowledgeable.
"I now hold a bat species licence which means I have the authority to check bat boxes. "It's a fulfilling role and I'm planning go into college to talk to students on the diploma course about working with protected species.