A BA Advocacy mature student graduates after being inspired by volunteering to return to education.


10.09.2021

A University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) mature student has graduated with first class honours in Advocacy after being inspired by volunteering to return to education.

Jane Gwynn from Llanelli’s background is in child development. She took a break from employment in 2005 so that she could bring up her children at home and care for her family. Jane started volunteering and quickly realised that she enjoyed learning and upskilling, that helped her develop a successful lottery funded community group focusing on the impact of parental mental illness on children.

Studying Advocacy was an obvious choice for Jane as she cares strongly about the emotional welfare of children, and she encourages children’s voices to be heard and their rights when in vulnerable circumstances.

Jane said: “The course was incredibly diverse. Modules included social policy, social inclusion, mental health, criminal justice, and several areas of reflective and personal growth. These have encouraged a real confidence in me that was scratching under the surface and the last three years have very much been about me believing I could but also being tormented by self-doubt. Graduating with a first-class honour’s degree has shown me I can!”

The social empowerment team at UWTSD have been incredibly supportive of Jane and her group as they were always at the end of an email and always capable of demonstrating professionalism alongside an inclusive and welcoming demeanour.

Phillip Morgan, Programme manager for the Advocacy course said: “As we congratulate our graduates on successful completion of their studies, we must never claim that we have empowered our students; we may humbly claim to have contributed to the creation of a safe learning environment within which students can practice ‘speaking their truth’ as they claim empowerment for themselves by ‘giving voice to values’. The Social Empowerment Team (SET) who deliver the BA Advocacy degree programme have been privileged to have worked to compliment students in their self-discovery. Jane has perfect example of such personal development.”

Jane thinks that learning as a mature student is a highly addictive pathway, and despite her initial goal to become a children’s advocate, she feels that her learning and her ‘university career’ isn’t done yet. Jane has decided to return to UWTSD in September to study the PcET Teacher Education course.

“I am delighted and excited to be continuing not only on my own journey but also on the journey of advocacy in Wales. Advocacy not only underpins the seven well-being goals of the Future Generations Act, but it also serves as a framework to support all citizens in their time of vulnerability, it encourages hearing when others only listen, it promotes choice when individuals believe there is none and it speaks to power independent of bias. I feel that if I can play a small part in the development of future advocates, maintain links with both theory and practice and continue learning in order to teach, then the potential for growth and positive societal change becomes greater. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

Further Information

Lowri Thomas, Principal Communications and PR Officer

07449 998476 

lowri.thomas@uwtsd.ac.uk