Diane Lonsdale Jones appointed as External Funding Manager
Diane Jones left school with few qualifications but education has “changed her life” and she has landed her dream job after giving her studies another go.
She decided to go back to school when her son Darren started full time education.
Since then she’s worked her way up the ladder and has now been appointed External Funding Manager at Coleg Harlech Workers' Educational Association. This role will involve working on projects across N Wales and North Powys
Diane lives in Abergele with her Chief Inspector husband and travels to Bangor every day for her new role.
She said: “I’m a second chance student. I left school with few qualifications. I love reading and literature and I never thought it would be possible to go to University.”
She was the first person in her family to gain a Degree and Masters Qualification. She said her husband and son, now aged 24 are “very proud”.
The 46-year old completed a full time access course at Llandrillo College when she was 26. She was advised by tutors to think about furthering her education. She said, “It was one of the hardest things I ever did”.
However, from there she went to Coleg Normal in Bangor and obtained a BA Honours in Business and Social Administration in 1996.
“That changed my life,” she said. In 2007 she completed her Masters in Change Management. It was funded by her then employers the Isle of Anglesey County Council.
“I was working full time and doing this full time course through Liverpool John Moore’s University ,” said Diane.
Her new role at Coleg Harlech, which offers mature students access to
education, will see her involved in most departments and will be seeking
Diane added: “It’s exciting working here. The management are so supportive. In 2014 more funding will be made available for colleges like Coleg Harlech and I want to make sure we’re in a good place.”
She believes passionately that education can change people’s lives and she is happy to be working in further education for the first time in her career.
“I’m based in Bangor and I came here as a second chance student so I feel as though I’ve come full circle. We are going to the hardest to reach people,” she said.
Diane, who is originally from Southport previously worked for two years at the North West Regional Development Agency where she had responsibility for the ERDF North West Operational Programme with a budget of £650 million. She left there and worked as a self employed consultant before landing her job at Coleg Harlech.
She said: “I wouldn't swap my new role. I’m working for a charity and it’s putting something back. I’ve learnt lots on my career path and I’m now giving other adults the chance I had. I had no career plan. I’m now coming back to education through this job and I’m working for an organisation which believes in second chances.
“My husband is very into the community having come up through the ranks with North Wales Police and so am I. I’m taking a new career direction. Wales has been very good to me and I’ve wanted to put something back into education.”
Coleg Harlech Principal Trefor F?n Owen said: "We were delighted to appoint Diane to this pivotal role and we are sure she will be a big success.
"Diane is living proof of the power of education and sums up the ethos of Coleg Harlech.
"Everybody deserves a second chance, a chance which could transform their life for the better, creating a brighter future for themselves."