A long-term commitment with the Air Cadets has been cited as a key factor in Jack Lloyd’s success in higher education, where he has just secured two coveted scholarships.

A third-year History student from Birkdale, Jack (24) harboured ambitions of joining the merchant navy before spending three years in full-time employment in a variety of management roles, after becoming disillusioned with education following college.

He decided to return to education via the University’s Fastrack scheme, having also been attracted by the facilities and support for students on offer at EHU.

“The Fastrack course benefited me massively,” Jack revealed. “The course gave me the opportunity to go to university, which would not have been available otherwise. It also meant that I could learn the skills which I had forgotten because I hadn’t used them since I’d left college.

“The support given to students at Edge Hill is great, and I would encourage anybody who is thinking about doing it to do so. Furthermore, it’s free and gets you a guaranteed place on your course. It is something that I wish I had known about earlier, and which could be really helpful to people like me who leave college feeling like further education is not for them because they received worse results than they expected.”

Jack was named as Edge Hill University’s Student Volunteer of the Year in 2017, a journey that began nine years earlier with the Air Cadets.

“I initially joined because my friends did, but after they’d left I stayed because of the new friendships I made and the love for it I developed. I still haven’t left!” he said.

At the age of 20 Jack was too old to remain as a cadet but stayed with the squadron, becoming a Civilian Instructor. Although making the transition was difficult, he soon flourished, being offered promotion to Sergeant.

“This promotion has seen me move from my role as Recruit Training Officer to more of a development role with the older cadets, alongside managing drill and discipline, ensuring that both are maintained at a high standard,” he explained. “My roles are not just limited to this. The staff and I have to be versatile and take on a multitude of tasks such as teaching, paperwork and cleaning, to name a few.”

Jack’s relationship with the Air Cadets has enabled the University to become involved with the group, an opportunity which has proved beneficial to both parties. The squadron has been able to utilise the talents of volunteer web developers (for a new website) and media production (recruitment video) students – who themselves are able to enhance their portfolios and gain sought-after personalised references.

“I hope to soon roll this link with the university out to other squadrons in the area so that they, too, can benefit from the skills students have to offer.”

As well as his Air Cadet commitments, Jack has managed to juggle part-time employment with his studies. In 2018 he has also enjoyed stints working on archiving projects with Liverpool St Helens Rugby Union Club and Unilever and has used the Mark Flinn Award Scholarship towards his dissertation studies, analysing crime on the railways in the 19th and 21st century.

“The funding has enabled me to spend two days in York researching at the National Railway Museum. My first trip was an eye-opener to what is available. I spent most of my time looking at police handbooks and information relating to a particular police officer, who may form part of a case study in my dissertation.”

Jack was selected for a Chancellor’s scholarship in 2018 – worth £2,000 – and the Mark Flinn Award, for which he was granted £500. Find out more about applying for a scholarship here.

Click here for more information about studying for a degree in History.