When the daughter of 49-year-old househusband Gary Reid was accepted onto Ayrshire College’s HNC Health Care course in 2012, he never imagined he would be following in her footsteps a few years later.
Gary had written himself off and did not think a return to education was an option for him.
However, when his daughter Rebecca could not attend her course induction, Gary went along to gather the information for her.
He was impressed with what he heard, but it was not until Rebecca qualified and got a job as a nurse that Gary decided to enquire about the course for himself.
Gary had plenty of experience to draw on; he has “always been the one people come to”. He nursed his Dad when he passed away with cancer, and helped his Mum with her diabetes, dementia and then latterly heart problems. The care sector was his calling – he just thought he had missed the boat.
Yet Gary has proved that you are never too old to start a new career. After attending Ayrshire College’s ‘This Man Cares’ event, he enrolled on the Pathways to Care course.
“That event was definitely what made my mind up”, Gary said. “I’m almost 50 years old – I’d written myself off. I wish I’d done this ten years ago.”
Explaining why he is doing it now, Gary said “Basically, Rebecca had moved in with me four years ago, and where we lived wasn’t far from the College’s Ayr campus. So, I said to her “you’re not sitting about here doing nothing – get yourself along to the College and see what they’ve got to offer you”.
“She had expressed an interest in becoming a nurse previously and said there was a Care course that she was interested in but that she had an appointment somewhere else and couldn’t get to the induction.
“So I went along instead to get her all the forms, and seeing how well the course had set her up got me interested.”
Although Gary has followed his daughter Rebecca into the same course, he has no plans to mirror Rebecca’s career path and become a hospital nurse. Instead he wants to go into either nurseries or nursing homes – a decision he will make next year when he’s working towards an HNC in Care.
He speaks with pride when he talks about his daughter’s progress.
Gary said “I’m made up with how she turned her life around in the last four years – and it’s all down to this course. If she hadn’t have done this course, I’m not sure what she’d be doing now.
“With the nursing I know she’s doing something positive with her life.”
Jackie McLellan, Head of Learning and Skills for Care at Ayrshire College said “We are keen for men who are considering a career in care to be aware of the support that’s available if they do apply to College.”
Find out more about courses by emailing Lynsey.firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 01294 559000 ext 3249.