Former RAF dental nurse flying high



Former RAF dental nurse Fiona King is flying high after getting her teeth into a new, creative career challenge.   The 42-year-old from Ferryhill has achieved ‘distinctions’ across all Level 3 units in her Access to  Higher Education course at Bishop Auckland College – putting her in the top 5% in the country. She  has also achieved an A* (Grade 9) in her GCSE English Language exam.    Fiona was born in Saltburn-by-the-Sea but spent most of her childhood growing up in South Africa.   Aged 19 she returned to the UK to live in Scotland and joined the RAF, training as a dental nurse.  
During this time she met her husband who was also in the Armed Forces. After five years’ service in  the RAF, Fiona worked full time as a carer but had always wanted to go to university.  
After moving to Ferryhill two years ago, Fiona spotted an advert in local newspaper The Ferryhill  Chapter about an open evening at the college. She went along and signed up to the Access course  after almost enrolling on a painting and decorating course.   After receiving her results, Fiona has achieved her dream as she has just been accepted on to the  BA Hons Degree in English (Creative Writing) at the University of Sunderland.   Fiona said: “To achieve your dreams you have to take the first step through the college door. I have enjoyed my time at college and would recommend the Access to higher education course to anyone, like me, who has always wanted to study higher. It’s never too late to learn!”   Tutor Dennese Bloomer paid tribute to her achievement: “Fiona demonstrated her talent for creative writing early on during the course and one of her poems entitled ‘Reflections’ was published on the Holocaust Memorial official website. Fiona has been a delight to teach and on this course she truly  has discovered her true potential.”
The college is enrolling now for Access to Higher Education and other Higher Education courses  starting in September. For information on these and other courses and apprenticeships, visit or email start@ or call 0800 092 6506.