student’s life is transformed because
“QMU believed in me”
FINAL YEAR Podiatry student who transformed his life
through university education has been presented with
an award from the UK’s leading fostering charity, The
Daniel Pauley, a twenty five year old Podiatry student from the
Scottish Borders, was presented with the award of ‘Outstanding
Achievement in Education’ at the Fostering Excellence Awards
Daniel, who left school at the tender age of 15 with hardly any
qualifications, has used his university education to transform his
life and train for a career in healthcare where he could help others.
His recent success on BSc (Hons) Podiatry at QMU was recognised
by the Fostering Excellence Award. The boy who had been written
off in his teenage years had won an award for attaining the highest
clinical grade in his year group (Level 3 Clinical Studies prize in
2016-17) at QMU.
His lecturer, Evelyn Weir, who is also a foster carer herself,
nominated Daniel for the award. She was overjoyed to discover
that he had actually won.
Evelyn knows only too well what an accomplishment it is for
Daniel to have made it onto a degree programme. She said: “We
are very proud of QMU’s reputation in widening access and in
supporting students from all backgrounds to achieve their full
potential. We all need to work together to help transform lives
and I am pleased that Daniel is finding QMU to be a good fit. He
is clearly enjoying his university journey and thriving within it.
“Daniel left school with very little in the way of qualifications, but
through hard work, resilience and determination, he started from
scratch by going back to college and is now in his final year of his
Daniel explained: “When I was at school there was really no
support and it was very disheartening.
I’d had a lot of difficulties at home and I
At the end of October, Daniel travelled
to London to take part in the prestigious only 6% of children in foster care go on to didn’t get any encouragement from the
ceremony in Westminster where he university level education compared to 43% teachers, so I had no self-belief. It was no
surprise that I didn’t do well academically.
received his award during an afternoon of people who have not been fostered
But I eventually realised two things – I
tea reception. It was the first time that he
loved helping people and I enjoyed health
had visited the capital so he was pleased
that his flatmate and fellow final year Podiatry student, Katherine and fitness, so I picked myself up, went back to college and got
Moffatt, was able to join him as his guest and share the experience. an HND. That helped me get a place at QMU on the BSc (Hons)
Now in their fourth year, the Fostering Excellence Awards provide Podiatry, and I’ve never looked back.
a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the young
people, foster carers, social workers and others who make a
positive contribution to the fostering community. The Fostering
Network’s chief executive, Kevin Williams, was particularly keen
to mark the achievements of some of the young people in the UK
who have been fostered. He said: “We believe that with the right
support, particularly from foster carers, care experienced young
people can truly thrive.”
Daniel spent some of his life in foster care. Sadly, only 6% of
children in foster care go on to university level education compared
to 43% of people who have not been fostered,and so it was indeed
a great achievement when Daniel secured his place on the podiatry
degree at QMU.
QMYOU / Student Feature
“As a foster child, you can be easily cast off. If no-one believes in
you, then you don’t believe in yourself. But my experience at QMU
has completely transformed my life. I am shocked at how much help
and support is available – from financial support through bursaries,
which means I should complete my degree without building up
massive debt - to the incredible support of the academics and
professional services staff. They are totally invested in helping
students be all they can be. At last, I’ve found people who believe
in me, so I can start believing in myself.”
Daniel continued: “As a student of QMU, I am no longer
overlooked - I am more than just a number. I have people who
are 100% behind me and are helping me achieve my goals. This
encouragement means I’ve developed a passion for learning and I
always keep classes running late because I ask so many questions.