Former Gower College Swansea Access student Simon Hussellbee has fought off stiff competition to secure a scholarship from the prestigious Gray’s Inn of London, which will enable him to complete his Bar Professional Training Course.
The Honourable Society of Gray's Inn is one of the four Inns of Court (professional associations for barristers and judges) in the capital. To be called to the Bar and practise as a barrister in England and Wales, an individual must belong to one of these Inns.
Simon joined the Access to Law course at Tycoch in 2011 before progressing onto a Law degree at Swansea University, where he is expected to graduate with a First.
Before that, he worked for 20 years - first in the private sector and then the civil service - but felt he’d gone as far as he could in that field without formal qualifications.
“I didn’t complete my A Levels so returning to education was a bit daunting at first,” he says. “But getting back into that mindset - of attending classes and revising for exams – plus having a very supportive group of tutors, resulted in my achieving good results, progressing onto university and ultimately, beginning a brand new career.”
There is currently no Government funding available to students wishing to pursue the BPTC, which can cost up to £18,000. Therefore, Simon was up against fierce competition for the available scholarships. Securing the funding means that Simon can start the course in Cardiff this September and set about looking for a training placement.
“Simon was a wonderful student and the Access teaching team are delighted with his subsequent success,” says lecturer Mandy Wyn Davies. “His is a fantastic example of how an Access course can really open doors and lead to the most amazing career paths.”