Emily Wallington receptionist to student midwife

Emily Wallington

A determined receptionist from Queen’s Hospital has proved that disappointing grades aren’t the end of the world.

Emily Wallington, 23 from Swadlincote, had always dreamed of becoming a midwife but admits she gave up when her grades fell short of what she needed to secure a place at university.

Five years later, with a whole load of experience, a little support from her friends within the maternity department, and an NVQ access course under her belt, she prepares to start her midwifery training.

Emily said: “Like a lot of people, when I opened the envelope and saw my grades I was so disappointed. Not only did I feel like I’d let myself down, but I knew this could be a barrier to me securing the career I wanted.

“I needed to do something that kept me close to my passion and was really pleased when a voluntary placement within the maternity department led to an apprenticeship. After studying my NVQ 2 in business administration I then secured a role as a receptionist in the antenatal clinic.”

After working and volunteering within the maternity department for five years Emily was encouraged by Matron Jo Wallace to apply for a university access course with Burton College. She studied while working full time and 18 months later secured a student midwife place at Wolverhampton University.

As a student midwife Emily will spend time on placement at Queen’s Hospital working alongside the colleagues who have helped and supported her. She’s also following in her mum’s footsteps who has worked the hospital for 18 years most recently as a Maternity Support Worker.

Jo Wallace, Maternity Matron at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton said: “We are all so proud of Emily, she has worked hard to achieve the qualifications needed to start her training. She is an inspiration and has all the right personal characteristics. She will be a fantastic midwife, continuing to support expecting mothers.”

Emily added: “I think my experience of working within the maternity department helped my application.

“The pressure for young people to get high grades is immense but so many fall short of their expectations and are left disappointed.

“My advice would be talk to people. You don’t know what options are available unless you ask. Although I was disappointed that I didn’t get the grades I’m so happy with the route that I have taken. I have built confidence, developed customer service skills and have an increased understanding and awareness.”