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Sophie Riding

Sophie Riding always dreamed of being a PE teacher but being estranged from her family since the age of 17 she struggled without support. Now Sophie, 21, has graduated and is training to become a teacher. But some of the practical aspects of becoming a student proved difficult for Sophie, such as needing a guarantor for the house she wanted to live in. Sophie turned to the University’s We Care Team, who helped her overcome some of the barriers she faced during her studies.

During my time at University the We Care Team have helped me in ways I didn’t ever think I needed. They supported me like the family I have never had, but always wanted. Their support never stopped, whether it be at night or during a hard time in the Pandemic. They stepped up even more and constantly checked up on me knowing I was living alone. In the back of my mind the reassurance of knowing they were there really got me through those hard times.

I have always aspired to a PE teacher so after graduating from Sunderland I began my teacher training. Looking into the future I’d love to teach abroad, maybe somewhere like Spain.

I’ve met people from all over the world who I probably wouldn’t have met if I didn’t go to university. I’ve made good friends for life during my time at Sunderland, which I’m so grateful for.

To anyone who is ever unsure about asking for help or support no matter how big or small, reach out, ask for help. The team are there to support you and will do so in the best way they can. There is no greater relief than sharing your problem or seeking help and having that weight lifted from your shoulders.