As a former BBC television producer, Julie Richards often found herself mixing with celebrity chefs ahead of cooking programmes.
It was this insight into ‘the culinary world’, and then the birth of her son, which prompted a career change, and Julie graduates from the University of Worcester’s Human Nutrition course.
She explains: “I’d made some food programmes and met some amazing chefs who let me into their culinary world, allowing me to fall in love with cooking, food and eating.
“The birth of my son prompted the interest in nutrition and so I enrolled on an Access to Biomedical Science course to study Human Biology and Chemistry, both prerequisites for a Nutritionist.”
The 47 year-old mother-of-one then came to Worcester to complete what is her second undergraduate degree – she graduated with a Business Admin, French and Psychology degree at the age of 21.
After being able to thrive in what she describes as a ‘very comfortable and welcoming environment’ Julie – who earned a First Class Honours degree – is now working as a Children’s Weight Management Advisor for the Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust team, providing support, nutritional education and advice to children and their families.
Of her new career, she says: “Working with parents and their children, I'm beginning to appreciate the complexity of the problem of childhood obesity, but I'm also heartened that I can offer some help and support, albeit on a small scale.
“I'll also shortly be starting work on a Public Health funded, universal programme to encourage pregnant women and nursing mothers to take vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise and, as children need it to develop strong bones and teeth, it is vital that we increase awareness and uptake of these free supplements.
“The course at Worcester has given me the solid grounding I need to be able to cope in this new environment with the confidence to bring the right information to the people who need it. I'm embarking on a new career and so far, I love it!”