A student who has championed mental health training throughout her studies graduates from the University of Worcester today with First Class Honours.
Kelly Gates has delivered awareness campaigns and training in schools, colleges and within the University, as well as raising almost £1,500 for Papyrus, a charity dedicated to helping young people with their mental health.
“The week before starting university I lost my childhood friend to suicide,” said the 21-year-old. “I would go above and beyond to stop anyone else going through what she had to. Everyone should have the opportunity to speak out and have someone to talk to. I will always continue to raise awareness to break the stigma of suicide in society.”
Kelly helped to establish a mental health and wellbeing scheme at Christopher Whitehead Language College in Worcester.
Kelly, from Burton-on-Trent, studied for a degree in Sports Development and Coaching and was awarded The Keith Stokes-Smith Award for Outstanding Student Contribution within the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science.
“Since leaving in May, I achieved the job of Swim Lesson Manager at Malvern Splash and have now been selected to work for Swim England as a Swimming Teacher Tutor. I’ve always wanted to work for Swim England and without my degree I wouldn’t have been given this opportunity.”
Kelly is combining this with studying for a Postgraduate Degree in Performance Coaching at the University of Stirling.
“What I loved most about Worcester was the people,” she added. “It’s a great community to be involved in and I know the staff would be there literally 24 hours if I needed help. Everyone genuinely is approachable, and I loved the course too; it’s opened up so many opportunities.”