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A former soldier who served in Iraq and Afghanistan is aiming to be a surgeon thanks to an Access to Science course at Middlesbrough College.

Allan Osborne, 32, has been offered a place at Durham University to study medicine and was one of a group of students to be singled out for special praise at Middlesbrough College’s Student Awards Ceremony 2015.

Allan, from Guisborough, spent 12 years in the Army as a Class 1 Combat Engineer - joining when he was just 17.

During that time he served in Northern Ireland and in recent years spent time at Basra Air Base and at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province.

Since leaving the Army Allan has worked in a number of driving jobs, including front line emergency response for St John Ambulance, which is where his interest in medicine was sparked.

He said: “I received 750 hours of intense training from St John Ambulance and while I thoroughly enjoyed it I knew that ambulances weren’t what I wanted to do.

“The Access to Science course has been incredible, exactly what I needed and if anyone else is thinking of doing it I’d say go for it.

“The last year has been hard work but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, I’ve now got six years of study ahead of me at Durham, including a Foundation year, and I can’t wait.”

The 32-year-old, who’s aiming to work with trauma patients as a surgeon, was presented with the Middlesbrough College Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Student of the Year Award, for his dedication, his determination to succeed and providing inspiration to other students.

He has juggled his college commitments with a full time job and being an Army Reserve with the 201 Field Hospital based at the TA Centre in Norton.

Another award winner was Kim Moody, a 31-year-old mum who swapped social care for the kitchen.

Kim, from Loftus, was working with adults with schizophrenia and personality disorders, when she caught the cookery bug.

She’s just completed a Level 3 Confectionary and Patisserie course at Middlesbrough College and has landed a job as pastry chef at the Spa Hotel in Saltburn.

Kim said: “It’s taken three years and a lot of commitment but it’s all been worth it.

“I’m now doing something I absolutely love and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

During her studies at Middlesbrough College Kim spent time gaining work experience at Raymond Blanc’s famous restaurant, Le Manoir, where she worked alongside some of the best dessert chefs in the business.

Kim said: “I couldn’t have done it without the training and support from the college team, they’re amazing and studying here has changed my life.”

Kim was presented with the Carol Bromyard Award for Exceptional Vocational Achievement.

Anyone wanting to find out more about Middlesbrough College is asked to visit www.mbro.ac.uk

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