A Johnstone mum who completed a master's degree while working full-time at a local child and youth care charity is encouraging others to follow in her footsteps.

Kerryanne Newton, 37, studied child protection at University of West of Scotland (UWS) while being supported by Kibble's in-house learning and development team, which fully funded the placement.

After joining the charity in 2008 as a sessional child and youth care worker, she quickly developed a passion for helping at-risk youngsters.

Kerryanne told The Gazette: "When I started at Kibble, I was so inspired by the young people I spent time with.

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"Some of them have challenging backgrounds and deal with complex issues daily, however, always had this great attitude towards life. 

"Although I always try to give everything I turn my hand to my very best effort, I was extra determined to give my all to supporting and protecting the young people at Kibble."

This passion led Kerryanne to peruse the range of further study opportunities offered by Kibble, initially completing a HNC in Social Services, expanding her knowledge of child protection, child development and social pedagogy, before going on to complete her master's degree.

The mum-of-two said: "Going back into education was a little scary for me. It can be challenging to get back into the rhythm of studying after working full time. But everyone at Kibble from my manager to my colleagues were so supportive.

"I had to juggle learning with full time work being a parent to my daughters. It was by no means an easy feat, but Kibble was able to support me to find a level of work life balance through flexible working patterns and offering ongoing investment into my development."

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Kerryanne is now encouraging others who are interested in re-entering into education as an adult to give it a try.

She said: "You have to go for it. Everyone's journey is different. Some might go into further education straight from school, while others initially enter into the workforce then return to studying.

"There is no right path when it comes to education, and it is never too late to learn a new skill. To study while working the right support needs to be in place to help you along the way. 

"I am so thankful that Kibble was able to see my potential and offer that support. I wouldn’t have achieved what I have without them."