Graduation tops off a year of ‘wonderful moments’

Victoria Cashmore on the steps of the Guildhall with sons Paul and Aiden

Victoria Cashmore on the steps of the Guildhall with sons Paul and Aiden

Graduating with a Foundation Degree in Learning Support rounds off a year “wonderful moments” for Victoria Cashmore, which has already included singing as part of Winchester Military Wives Choir with pop legend Lulu on her UK tour.

Husband Paul is a staff Sergeant in the Royal Logistics Corps, which led to her joining the Military Wives Choir. In October 2015, she was elected as the choir coordinator for the Winchester branch.

As well as singing with Lulu, she has also represented the choir in the media – including interviews with BBC South Today and Radio Solent – and at charity and high-profile events across the south.

“I am such a busy person, and the choir gives me an outlet,” said Victoria. “It is the only time I can forget about everything and just sing, chat and laugh – which is all part of the choir’s ethos.”

Husband, Paul, was deployed to Afghanistan for much of Victorias final year

Husband, Paul, was deployed to Afghanistan for much of Victoria’s final year

While completing her own studies part-time, Victoria also supported son Paul junior through his A-levels and other son Aiden through Year 10.

On top of this, for nine months of her final year at Portsmouth, her husband was deployed to Afghanistan where he was a mentor for the Afghan Officer Training Programme.

If that was not enough, she also gained promotion in her full-time job to manager of the learning support department in Winchester’s Henry Beaufort School (where she is also the services families coordinator) and committed herself to numerous charity work after a friend was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

“I like to be busy!” she explained.

Her decision to study for a degree came in 2014. “I’d worked for 12 years in education as a learning support assistant and in similar roles, so I decided to try and gain a qualification to match my experience,” said Victoria.

Winchester Military Wives Choir representatives with Lulu

Victoria Cashmore and other Winchester Military Wives Choir representatives with Lulu (centre)

In her first year, she was awarded a scholarship from the National College for Teachers and Leadership.

“I couldn’t believe that I was chosen out of hundreds of applicants. It gave me a real drive to ensure I made the most of the opportunity,” she said.

“Studying on the University of Portsmouth course has been a fantastic opportunity for me to secure knowledge and practice while reflecting on the theories of learning and development.

“It has taught me so much about myself as an individual, both professionally and personally. As someone who struggled at school, it is amazing to think – especially this year with all its wonderful moments – that this is actually my story.”

 

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