'Crime Degree' Sisters Take On Tough New Roles
Date posted: 21 August 2009
Sisters who completed the same 'crime degree' are to use their talents to help prison inmates and the mentally ill.
Natalie and Nicki Siddall, from Derbyshire, both received a 2:1 grade from the University of Derby this summer, after completing the same Joint Honours degree in Criminology and Psychology.
Now Natalie is to use her knowledge to help prisoners find new careers and Nicki is taking up further training, to become a specialist nurse working with the mentally ill.
Natalie, 21, said: "We were both interested in Psychology at school and did it at A-level. When we came to look at degree subjects we again found ourselves interested in the same course.
"It was useful being able to study together and it did mean we saved on the cost of textbooks."
Natalie has just taken up the post of Careers and Employment Tutor at a men's prison, where she will be helping inmates retrain for new careers.
"It's about teaching key work skills, including Maths and English, to help them find employment when they get out," added Natalie.
Nicki, 23, said: "While I was doing my degree course I was a part time Care Assistant, working with older people with dementia in a Ripley care home.
"That got me interested in working in that line when I completed my degree. In September I will be starting a two-year accelerated training course at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, after which I will be a qualified mental health nurse. I'd eventually like to work as one in prisons."
On studying with Natalie, she added: "We encouraged each other during the course but there was always a bit of healthy competition. If one got a good grade the other would try and match it or get a slightly better one."
The Siddall sisters follow in the legal footsteps of identical twins Emma and Kelly Shooter, who both graduated from the University of Derby with a 2:1 grade LL.B (Hons) law degree in January this year.
David Walsh, Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Crime and Justice degree course at the University, said there were distinct advantages to making study a 'family affair', in terms of mutual support.
"Having said that, Natalie and Nicki showed real individual commitment to their course of study. They should be commended for choosing to use their degrees to help others in circumstances which can be very difficult," added David.
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