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Monday, 18 November 2013

Student Accommodation: Settle for the Best

Finally student accommodation companies are upping their game, and realising that students will not accept rubbish living conditions anymore. Gone are the days of shabby furniture from your Nan’s era, mouldy wall paper and threadbare carpet...hoorah!

If a student accommodation wants to be heads above the rest, it needs to offer something different. Accommodation that can offer modern flats (especially for London students where halls have been notoriously overpriced), high levels of security, a community feel and a reasonable price are trailblazing the way in the industry.

So what are the key things to look for when choosing your first year home?

Sure, plasma TVs in every room, a Jacuzzi and walk-in fridge are all ridiculously appealing, but if the complex is 20 miles from your uni, it might not be such a great idea. Think about your morning/evening commute, how long the journey is into town ad what other hotspots are nearby. Price will more than likely vary the nearer you are to the centre of town, but can eliminate the cost of travel, so take time to weigh up the costs.

Not just for your parents’ peace of mind. No one wants to have their stuff pinched or to feel unsafe at home. Check the levels of security thoroughly, and whether the company offers content insurance. If not, the better the security, the cheaper it will be for you to buy it yourself. Student accommodation should offer 24 hour security, so make sure you know how to contact them, should you ever need to.

Ensure that all the amenities are up to scratch, so that your bed doesn’t collapse the second you do, and so that the draws are for show. Especially when moving in, ask the rep to show you how the shower etc works to ensure that they actually do. Test the toilet flushes/the taps work/the oven gets hot before they leave, so any big problems like that can be sorted asap.

If the building is next to a main road or train station, you may not always get the 100% peace and serenity
you’d pictured. Think about how much that will bother you, particularly when choosing halls in the middle of a busy city. It also might look alright in the day, but think about when 12am comes and the tequila has set in. It might not be a huge issue in your first year, unless you’re not very pleasant in the morning.

Room type
Many of the big student accommodations offer a variety of types of room, at a variety of prices. These can include a studio – a whole flat usually designed for one (or a couple), including a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Other types are shared flats where you will often be sharing communal areas with strangers, and en-suite rooms where you will share a kitchen and social area, but not a bathroom. Find the best option to suit your needs, personality and budget.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Why you should consider a career in midwifery

With so many career options available within healthcare, finding the role to suit you is no mean feat. One option you may not have considered is midwifery, and if you haven't already, it's certainly worth giving some thought to the benefits of working in this unique profession. Here we've put together what we feel are the biggest advantages of working in midwifery, as well as advice on how you can get into the profession.

Midwives are in demand
If you read the news it's likely you'll already know that nurses, and particularly midwives, are in demand. This means that, unlike in other industries where graduate jobs are scarce, with a qualification in midwifery you're almost guaranteed to find employment.

Opportunity for promotion
There are plenty of opportunities to advance your career within midwifery. Whilst the starting salary for newly-qualified midwives is £21,388 with the NHS, an experienced midwife can earn around £34,500 year. By gaining further qualifications such as a Masters or a PhD, you can progress even further into management and consultant roles.

Rewarding job
When asked about the benefits of the profession, many midwives talk about the inherent satisfaction involved in doing such an important job. Knowing that your work helps to bring life into the world and that you are there for one of the most important moments in people's lives is something that few other jobs can offer.

How you can become a midwife
There are three ways to train as a midwife, all of which lead to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The most common route into midwifery is through taking an approved midwifery degree. This will involve both an academic and a professional qualification, through study of theory and supervised practice of midwifery. Degree programmes in midwifery are usually three years in length on a full-time basis.

Alternatively, if you're already a qualified and registered nurse, you can take the midwifery short programme. As with a degree in midwifery, this is both an academic and a professional qualification, involving study of theory and supervised midwifery practice. Midwifery short programmes usually take a minimum of 78 weeks full-time. You can find out more about the midwifery short programme by contacting the Health Learning and Skills Advice Line.

Another option is to take a Masters degree in midwifery. This is particularly popular with graduates from related subjects who are keen to move into midwifery and registered nurses looking to gain a new qualification. As with most qualifications, entry requirements for a Masters in midwifery vary between academic institutions, but as an example an MSc in Midwifery from Middlesex University requires a good honours degree (2:2) or above in midwifery or a closely related subject, or a relevant professional qualification and evidence of successful level six study.

Wherever you choose to apply to and whatever course you choose to study for, check what the entry requirements are for that institution. If it isn't clear on their site or you're not sure that you qualify then still get in touch with the course leaders – you might have more relevant experience than you think.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Motors Most Deserving Student’s desire to find an individual truly deserving of the Most Deserving Student crown is over, so rest easily in your beds!

As probably the most well-known of the three Most Deserving Awards (the other two being given to the Most Deserving Local Hero and the Most Deserving Local business), nominations came in thick and fast and the choice of both the five finalists and the eventual winner was an incredibly close-run thing.

The winner is Julia Hebb, a mother of two, student and patient best friend who has achieved a great deal in her life, as while as instilling a sense of pride and determination in her children. Judging by her nomination story – sent in by her close friend, Gill – Julia is in no way short of determination herself.

So why did feel Julia Hebb to be the Most Deserving of all the finalists?

“Julia is my best friend, and has been since we were both 13 (we are now 37). Julia had her children when she was still in her teens, and they are two of the most amazing kids I know!”

Julia’s story is one of unbelievable grit and to determination to succeed against the odds and such is truly inspiring.

Of Julia’s ‘two amazing kids’ (as best friend Gill calls them), Tyler has shown a great deal of strength in dealing with the dual burden of Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. This is no doubt due in part to Julia’s determination to have Tyler admitted to a mainstream school after having developed a method of teaching her son to speak that has also been proven to be effective in others with similar conditions.

Julia’s eldest child, Kelly, has proven herself a bastion of academic excellence after gaining a total of 14 A and A* grades at GCSE. Kelly is clearly a chip off the ol’ block as shown when Julia, age 34, decided to go back into to education to first gain the GCSEs she had originally missed out on, then to do a university access course, in order to gain entry to Salford University to study Nursing.