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Danielle Lally

FdSc Exercise, Health and Fitness

Progression Pathway: Level 2 Exercise, Health and Fitness (St Helens College), level 3 Sports Massage (St Helens College), FdSc Exercise Health and Fitness (University Centre St Helens)

“The thought of University might be daunting to some, but it is possible. If you’ve got passion and the drive to do it, just go for it, it’s definitely worth it in the end and I am proof that a diverse qualification such as the Foundation degree in Exercise, Health and Fitness really can take you anywhere.”Alumna, Danielle, looks to the future as she embarks on her new career with St Helens Council after gaining her degree at University Centre St Helens.

The 31-year old, from Liverpool, started her journey at St Helens College on the level 2 Exercise, Health and Fitness course, before progressing onto the level 3 Sports Massage course.

Upon completion, Danielle took time out to further progress her skills, gaining herself a personal training qualification, which complemented her industry work experience.

Danielle worked as a personal trainer for a number of years, before wanting a career change after the birth of her child, where she realised that the unsociable working hours didn’t suit her new lifestyle.

Initially embarking upon a strength and conditioning Sports Science degree at Salford University, Danielle quickly realised that the long commute to Salford just wasn’t sustainable, as she balanced home, family, work and University life.

Intrigued by University Centre St Helens, Danielle from Kirkby liked the idea of being able to study locally. After a couple of months with Salford, she decided to transfer and join the Exercise, Health and Fitness, foundation degree at University Centre St Helens.

After completing the two-year Foundation degree, Danielle was eager to complete the BA (Hons) Top-up, validated by the University of Chester, in order to progress her qualification into a full honours degree. Danielle not only successfully completed the top up with them but also pursued her passion for sports education to Masters level, gaining an MSc Sports, Leadership and Management. She also credits the degree qualification with providing her with the confidence needed to complete her level 3 GP referral qualification and level 4 Mental Health referral qualification.

Now working for St Helens Council, Danielle has progressed from a Physical Activity Mentor to a Lifestyle Advisor working on GP referrals, to her current role as an Early Years’ Community Food Worker, where she now focuses on a number of early years’ initiatives with families and children, as well as schools, nurseries, after school clubs and pre-schools.
Danielle’s role sees the promotion of a healthy diet, positive choices and physical activities, as well as classroom delivery, where she educates people on the eat well plate, healthy meal tips and how to shop on a budget.

Danielle explained “It is quite a varied role that ultimately revolves around offering families the resources they need to live a healthier lifestyle. My background, studying Exercise, Health and Fitness has really helped me to excel in this role, as I studied factors that influence behaviour and choices. It’s all about recalling what I’d learnt and applying it to my work.”

Although a large part of Danielle’s job involves working with children, this is something Danielle never anticipated prior to her degree, showing the diversity of career paths after University.

To those thinking of studying a degree at University Centre St Helens, Danielle advises: “Do it! The thought of University might be daunting to some, but it is possible. If you’ve got passion and the drive to do it, just go for it, it’s definitely worth it in the end and I am proof that a diverse qualification such as the Foundation degree in Exercise, Health and Fitness really can take you anywhere.”

Looking to the future, Danielle hopes to utilise her academic qualifications even more as she hopes to explore the route of implementing and monitoring interventions.