More determined than ever – former student Mollie Blakey on university and one day opening her own bakery

25 July, 2022 2:59 pm

Almost a year after finishing college, Mollie Blakey is more determined than ever and is pursuing her dream of one day opening her own bakery.

Now studying for a degree in business management and marketing with the Open University, Mollie is working at Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms, in Harrogate, and hopes to climb the ranks. However, her confidence didn’t come overnight and she had to overcome a number of challenges.

Finding her confidence

Mollie, who wanted to become a veterinary nurse when she was younger, struggled at school and felt she didn’t fit in. It was not until she started at college that she got the support she needed and discovered that she was dyslexic.

“I have loved animals all my life and it was a natural choice for me to work with them. However, after my GCSE results I had to look for an alternative and I’d enjoyed food tech at school.”

Shortly after her GCSEs Mollie had a conversation with one of her teachers which led to her applying for a food preparation course at the college.

“The support I received from my tutors throughout my two years at college made a massive difference academically as I really struggled at school.

“My tutors were able to help me and identified that I have dyslexia. It boosted my confidence massively as I was now aware of why I was struggling, and I was able to have one-on-one support at college, where a tutor helped during my lessons and throughout the pandemic.”

Improving her overall experience

Speaking about her overall experience at college, Mollie said that if it were not for the support she received she would not have been able to get her ‘dream job’ at Bettys.

“I don’t think I would have landed a job at Bettys if I had not received the support I needed. College gave me the confidence to believe I could do what I wanted and achieve what I wanted to achieve.”

Determined to get things done, despite the challenges.

Last year, Mollie was diagnosed with autism but has never let this get her down. Instead, she has felt empowered to speak out and support others.

Plans for the future

Inspired by Horticap Harrogate, Mollie would like to open her own cafe, run by people with learning difficulties and autism, to show that these conditions don’t define who you are.

“Horticap works with young adults with learning difficulties and they have inspired me, in a way, as a person with autism and dyslexia.

“I have been rejected by a number of companies as a result of my disabilities. However, I would like to think I have proved those who didn’t believe in me wrong because, despite being told that I may not be able to get through a level 2 course, I achieved a distinction.”

Message for others wanting to pursue their dreams

“I want to encourage others, especially those who may have a disability, to follow their dreams and pursue what they are passionate about. Don’t ever let anyone ever tell you that you are not capable of achieving what you want.”