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Meet the Team

Becky Tomkins, Project Lead

My job is:

...I set up, run and oversee the GROWS Uni Connect programme in Gloucestershire

I love working for GROWS because… 

...I have seen it evolve from an idea into a successful and supportive programme of activities and events that really do inspire young people about their future options.

I studied:

Geography and Sociology at the University of Gloucestershire

If I could choose my FE and HE options now I would… 

...think a bit more about what’s out there, and not follow the crowd, research a bit more on courses and not just carry on from my A-levels with the same subjects.

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Stephanie Reynolds, Development Manager
My job is: 

Working with our schools to make sure they have access to the best possible activities and events for their students.

I love working for GROWS because...

...I'm a qualified teacher and I love seeing young people reach their potential.

I studied:

Earth Science at the University of Plymouth and my PGCE in Secondary Geography at the University of Bath. 

If I could choose my FE and HE options now I would...

...do it all again! I met my best friends and my husband at university! And I wouldn't be where I am now without my degree.

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Catherine Wilks, Widening Participation Officer
My job is:

I put together and deliver activities and resources to help young people and their parents find out more about their future options when they turn 16 and 18, with a particular focus on university.

I love working for GROWS because… 

...I love doing a job that can make a difference to someone's life and their future. 

I studied: 

Education Studies and History at Keele University.

If I could choose my FE and HE options now I would…

...probably do something I'd never done before! I chose History because I did it at A-Level but I wish now I had chosen something I hadn't done so I could learn about a new subject area.

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Fran Boughton, Project Officer
My job is: 

To organise fun events and experiences for pupils and parents that show the value of higher education.

I love working for GROWS because… 

...I get the opportunity to create experiences from scratch working with subject experts and then see the impact on delivery to pupils.

I studied: 

Consumer Marketing at Leeds Metropolitan University.

If I could choose my FE and HE options now I would… 

...not change much. I might have worked harder for my GCSEs to improve my predicted grades for A-levels!

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George Shanly, Widening Participation Officer
My job is: 

I plan and deliver activities where young people can explore their future options, and I run our social media accounts.

I love working for GROWS because… 

...I’m really passionate about how education can transform your future options and change your life.

I studied:

Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Nottingham where I wrote a dissertation on crisps!

If I could choose my FE and HE options now I would…

...love to study Sociology! I found choosing my FE subjects really difficult and went with a science, maths and English combo. Looking back now I’d love to throw something else into the mix, like Sociology.

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Tom Hall, Outreach Support Officer
My job is:

My main role is to support the widening participation officers. This entails managing the bookings on GROWS events, running workshops or presentations, and more! I also work with George working on the social media accounts… you might of seen me on our Tik Tok channel! 

I love working for GROWS because...

...I get to work with a fantastic team, where we bring our ideas to life and see a real difference with young people across the county!

I studied:

International Tourism Business Management BA for three years and then International Tourism Management MSc for two years.

If I could choose my FE and HE options now I would...

...have researched more about the different college courses in the area, as I wasn’t aware of the difference between BTEC’s and A Levels.

With my HE options, I would of changed my masters to something education related!

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Ania Hartsoe, Progression Advisor
My job is:

I meet with students in Years 9 - 12 to explore career ideas and  talk about their plans after school.

I love working for GROWS because...

...I get to support young people in making better-informed decisions about their future.

I studied:

International Trade at Lodz University

If I could choose my FE and HE options now I would...

...most likely study linguistics which is the scientific study of human language.  I love learning languages and find things like grammar, phonetics or sentence and word structure fascinating! 

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Claire Cookson, Data and Evaluation Officer
My job is:

I help look after the data we collect, including the analysis and reporting. l put together surveys and run focus groups to find out what students think about going to university and the activities we provide.

I love working for GROWS because...

...it is very satisfying to know that the data we collect and analyse about students' experiences can help improve what we do and potentially change someone's life.

I studied:

Geography at the University of Gloucestershire

If I could choose my FE and HE options now I would...

...try something new. There are so many more interesting subjects and courses to study now compared to when I was at school.

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