Mark Toole with Principal Suzanne Duncan

Mark Awarded For Work Towards New Career

Fri, 2002-04-26 01:00

After being made redundant from a previous job, an adult learner from East Durham College is well on his way to making a massive career change into a whole new area.

Mark Poole, 50, from Washington, was made redundant from his factory job as an acid copper plating and holographic production operative, and after trying out a number of different job areas he found one he loved.

Mark’s life changed when he was given a 13 week voluntary placement at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in Washington and fell in love with the role which led him to East Durham College’s Houghall Campus, in Durham, to study environmental conservation.

After completing the course, the father of four decided to continue his studies at Houghall on a Level 3 Arboriculture Diploma course and it’s the work on this course which has seen him awarded a special East Durham College Student Award.

And despite the fantastic time Mark has had over the last three years at the College he is looking forward to the future where he is looking to go on to be a freelance arborist and conservationist.

Mark said: “This career path has been a total change from my old job but now I couldn’t think of working in any other area.

“I’m really chuffed to have been picked out for an award and I also recently found out that I have been confirmed as a seasonal warden at The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust again so I’m delighted with that too.

“The courses at Houghall have been fantastic and I have really learnt a lot from my time there but now I can’t wait to get out working as an arborist when my course is finished later this year.”

Dawn James, Curriculum Leader in Land and Plant studies, has praised Mark for his high standard of work along with the enthusiasm and level of commitment he brings to the course.

Dawn said: “Mark has received distinctions on most written assignments.

“Mark joined the course late and has caught up and even surpassed other students on the course.  Although he works park time and has a family, he manages to attend class on time and his assignments are always in on time too. 

“Mark was particularly helpful at a recent schools event held at the Peterlee Campus and was praised by the staff running the event for his enthusiasm and commitment.”