Posted on 29 June 2004
Wendy Atkinson (44), a nurse of 19 years from Thirsk, will spend the next two years in Kathmandu, Nepal, working in a British military medical centre as a community nurse serving British military personnel, Gurkha soldiers and their families.
Wendy, who graduates with an advanced nursing qualification, currently works as an NHS health visitor in the British Army's garrison in Catterick. Her work has brought her in contact with the Nepalese Gurkha soldiers stationed at the garrison, which motivated her to apply for the position in Nepal. She is also currently a nursing officer in the Territorial Army with the Leeds 212 Field Hospital's York squadron.
Wendy says of her decision: "I wanted to learn more about Nepal and I'd also like to be able to have a conversation in Nepali with the Gurkhas that I work with, rather than just being able to say hello and goodbye as I currently can."
Nik Miller (22), from Ipswich, has coached football at Badger Hill Primary School for the last three years, in addition to captaining the University's First XI football team.
When his father was diagnosed with cancer, Nik organised a charity football event for Yorkshire Cancer Research that attracted 130 individually-sponsored players and raised around £4,000. "I was a little surprised by how many people got involved." says Nick. "The event was a total success thanks to them."
Nik, who graduates from York with a BA in English with Writing and Performance, will travel to New York after graduation to coach local youth teams. He hopes to get into sports management as a career.
Rebecca Prestwich (21) has directed productions of the musicals Grease and Chicago at the minimum-security Askham Grange Women's Prison, as part of the University's Theatre in the Community programme. The cast and crew of the productions were a mixture of inmates and student volunteers from the University.
Rebecca, from Manchester, has also run drama workshops at Lord Deramore's Primary School, The Mount School and Lowfield High School in York, in addition to taking part in student-run entertainments at local old people's homes for the national charity, Age Concern.
Rebecca, graduating with a BA in English with Writing and Performance, has acted in and directed several University productions. Earlier this month, she directed a production of Chekhov's The Seagull for Apricot Theatre, a theatre company set-up by other York students, as part of a series of plays in York's Rowntree Park.
"I must admit that I would rather direct than act. I particularly enjoy directing community theatre and it's a field I would like to continue to work in after I graduate," says Rebecca.
Tony Ibbetson (34), due to start a teaching position at Topcliffe Primary School near Thirsk in September, is a former printer from Scarborough who first came to university at 28 after being made redundant when technological advances made his job obsolete.
Tony, who became an apprentice printer at 16, enrolled in University because, as he says: "I felt that I hadn't reached my potential in education and it had bothered me for a long time."
He graduates in July with an MA in Political Philosophy with distinction, to add to his starred first BA in Politics (also from the University of York) and PGCE from York St John College.