“On the 8 June 2011, I was involved in a bad car crash and ended up wheelchair dependent. Due to extended hospital stays and not having much to do, I decided to follow a lifelong ambition to study for a BSc Crime and Criminology.
Being an ex-police officer, I had accumulated credits from a foundation degree program that I had started but not finished earlier. I spoke to the University of Portsmouth team in SCCJ who were very helpful and offered me a place to study part-time having realised my limitations.
I did not have any experience as a disabled student but the disability officer David Filmer took his time to go through all the help that both the University and Student Finance England could offer. He became a strong pillar of support especially when I experienced difficulties in meeting deadlines.
Even though the course was part-time, it was designed to be completed over four years with specific module submission deadlines. Studying at the University of Portsmouth was initially a real challenge because I did not have much experience with academic writing. However, Bill Scurlock and Marc Jacobs were always available to deal with my enquiries regardless of how many times I called and emailed them. I remember on many occasions receiving tailor-made help and advice from Bill who had a big influence in my academic progression.
I could not talk about the University of Portsmouth without mentioning Jo Fairwood and Sam Butcher in SCCJ. They made the whole learning experience manageable by providing administrative support and understanding my physical and mental limitations. This in turn gave me an opportunity to concentrate on the more important matters during this very trying time.
In 2013, I felt well enough to attend lectures but unfortunately the University of Portsmouth was far from Swindon where I live and I could not afford to relocate. Most importantly I was enjoying studying Crime and Criminology but wanted to fulfill a long time ambition to read law. I enrolled to do an LLB Law with the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol. I studied the programs concurrently with a coordinated support from both institutions.
In 2015 I graduated from UoP with a 2:1in BSc Crime and Criminology and in 2016 graduated again with another 2:1 in LLB Law from UWE.
I am currently doing my LLM LPC Advanced Legal Practice back at UWE. I work two days a week as paralegal at Elite Solicitors in Bristol. I have written a book called Paradigm Uncovered which details how I have managed coping with the difficulties of disability, studying and life in general especially after the car accident.
The book inspires goal setting tips and motivates targeted hard work. It was officially launched on the 16 February at a colourful ceremony hosted by UWE. Apart from this book, I am currently working on a big children’s book project with about twenty stories in editing. One of the African Folktale books Hare and Hyena is already out available to buy from Amazon and my website. It has been a very interesting journey and the support from the University of Portsmouth has been phenomenal.”
Find out more about Jeremiah's inspirational story.