Mum returns to college to work towards dream Police job

20th February 2024

A single mum of four is starting her dream career in the Police after going back into studying as a mature student, thanks to the support and flexible learning at Solihull College & University Centre.

Heather Coffey is now working as a Special Constable after an arduous selection progress, alongside continuing to study for her Policing HND at the College. She also has a busy family life with four primary school aged children to look after.

Heather is now on patrol as a Special Constable with Warwickshire Police. She says the selection process was full on: “I underwent a set of vigorous tasks, including fitness, biometric tests and a 9-week distance learning course. It was intense. There’s a lot of training involved and if you don’t reach the threshold you have to wait until the next intake, so I really pushed myself.”

Heather receiving her warrant card
Heather at her passing out parade

Heather credits her lecturers, Rich Agar and Chris Thomas for helping her through it: “They have both been in the police for many years so can impart their knowledge on most scenarios and situations. I have a lot of support from family and friends too which is vital.”

Since her passing out parade Heather has been busy on patrol. “I’ve been on a raid, worked with traffic officers and will soon be working with the dog handlers. The regular officers are so supportive – they know you are a volunteer, giving up your time, so they are incredibly helpful. The hands-on experience has helped me with my studies too, it’s a great way of gaining more insight into the wide variety of skills you need.”

Heather in uniform standing by the police car

Heather is now in the 2nd year of her HND and will complete her studies by topping up her HND into a full degree by studying on the third year of the College’s Criminology and Psychology degree.

It has been a difficult journey to get to where she is now. Heather found herself in a refuge in her early 20s after a difficult end to her relationship and struggled with health issues. She felt she had no direction when it came to her career.

Heather was accepted onto the HND policing course at the age of 30. She is a mature student and is the oldest in the group, but certainly doesn’t see age as a barrier – she says she is the mum of the group and has made some great friends.

“The course at Solihull College & University Centre is great as it fits round my family life – I would just advise anyone to follow their dream, however long it takes. My aim is to work in front line policing and will be looking to apply as soon as the course is finished. It’s given me a great grounding in my chosen career.”

Find out more about the College's Policing Courses: Policing