Growing up in the town of Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, Phoebe always worked hard at school in the hope of fulfilling her dream of being the first in her family to go to university. This A level results day she has made this dream a reality and secured her place at the University of St Andrews to study English Literature by getting three A*s. 

A truly inspiring volunteer tutor

For the last two years, whilst studying at West Nottinghamshire College, Phoebe has spent an hour a week being tutored in English Literature thanks to her volunteer tutor Tom. “His support was invaluable and he really made a difference every single week, always putting in extra work into our sessions.” 

Having also studied English Literature at St Andrews, Phoebe’s tutor was an inspiration to her as “he gave me a lot of help when I was hoping to apply there!” 

“I don’t get why you wouldn’t want to join The Access Project!”

When pursuing her goal of studying English it was the support she received on The Access Project through her in-school mentor and volunteer tutor that inspired her. “My University Access Officer was an amazing help and he made it clear we could always ask for his support and advice whenever we needed it. From university trips, to societies, and sharing summer school opportunities there were so many extra experiences for us.”

We know how hard the pandemic has been for young people across the country, not least students on our programme. But for Phoebe the stability of The Access Project made this a lot easier. “I think the pandemic definitely impacted my education in a negative way but I was lucky enough to have internet at home and a tutor. It really shined a light on the disparities in education.”

“Even when we were learning online I always had The Access Project and my tutorials online. When education was all over the place I still had my tutorials and it meant I didn’t fall behind in English”. 

“I don’t want to jinx it but it would be amazing to get into St Andrews”

On results day Phoebe got three A*s and secured her place at St Andrews. When we spoke to her before results day she said: “I am quite nervous for the day but it would be unreal if I check UCAS and see that I have got in.” 

When thinking about her future Phoebe is nervous to move 300 miles away from where she has grown up, but despite all of this she’s looking forward to being around people that share her passion for English. 

“I am excited to study English as I am such a book nerd! Most of all it will be great to be somewhere where everyone wants to study the same thing and is passionate about achieving like me.”