Mandy Eldred-Tyler always wanted to study for a degree. She thought she had the ability but she hadn't had the opportunity because she went straight into work after school. When she moved to Somerset from Derbyshire six years ago, she looked at local colleges and chose a History, Heritage and Archaeology Foundation Degree because she thought it looked fascinating. At the start of her studies she lacked confidence, but with the support of the course manager Mandy persevered and did exceptionally well. She graduated with the highest possible grade and went on to study a final year at Plymouth University to top up her degree to a full Bachelor's Degree in History.
As part of her degree Mandy worked with her college course manager to research, write and publish a local history book, 'In and Around Bruton Through Time'. The book, which was published in June 2012, has sold well on Amazon and through book shops including Waterstone's. It is packed with archive and contemporary photos and works well as a visitor’s guide and as a valuable resource for those interested in finding out more about the town in which they live.
Mandy said: "My College Foundation Degree gave me the best possible grounding for the final year at Plymouth University because it covered such vast periods of history. It prepared me so well for any future study of history. When I finish at university I plan to work as an education officer for a heritage site or museum. I am already qualified to work with early years children, so I hope to combine the two. I'd also like to write some more books."