Born in Waterfoot, Lancashire, Reece Taylor started at UCFB in 2011 with dreams of becoming a Sports Journalist. He embarked upon a degree in Football Business & Media and even though his determination to do well was strong, he was faced with a number of challenges in completing his degree.

Reece was born with Cerebral Palsy which affects his motor skills, makes him tired and often adversely affects his concentration. During his first year at UCFB these challenges came to light and he and his parents had concerns about whether a degree had been the right move for him. During the course of the year the degree began to get more challenging and Reece became concerned about completing his first year. This was noted by the Student Support Team and consequently Senior Learning Support Mentor, Rachel Walker was brought in to help Reece with his learning needs.

Rachel supported Reece’s learning by assisting with his writing, providing encouragement and providing a range of learning tools to support him.

Reece says, “I have a tendency to lose confidence in myself at times. Rachel has really helped me build confidence and develop my skills. I knew I was capable but it really helped having someone cheering me on.”

When Reece starting receiving support from the team, it unleashed his potential and really harnessed his talents. His ability to understand, talk and write about complex subjects really improved and made a huge difference when writing and editing his final year dissertation. His dedication has now been recognised during the Student Academic Awards where he was awarded ‘Most Improved Student of the Year’.

Reece says, “I knew I was capable of big things. Rachel was pivotal in the change I went through and gave me the push I needed. The Learning Support Team has been fantastic and I couldn’t have hoped to have met more helpful people.”

Reece has benefitted from not only the Student Support but also the vast array of experiences available at UCFB. During his time at UCFB he has participated in the Management Game lead by Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive of the Scottish Professional Football League.

Since completing his degree, Reece was successfully appointed as the social media intern for East Lancashire Rangers Football Club, a disabled football club near Blackburn. He is looking forward to the future and ready to enter the world of work.