Blessed William Howard

The Painsley Catholic Academy was established in 2012. We are the largest Catholic multi-academy company in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

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Pride of BWH

Each week we would like to feature a former BWH student who is now fulfilling a key role in the battle against Coronavirus, to wish them luck, give them recognition and express our gratitude for their work.

This week we are featuring Associate Practitioner in Virology - Katie Preston.

Katie Preston left BWH in 2013, after finishing 6th form to attend Liverpool John Moore’s University to study Biomedical Science (inspired by her science teacher, Mrs Broomhall!)

 After the first year of university she had to leave due to a medical issue which meant taking a job for Emirates Airline for a year before returning to Stafford to go to university to study Biomedical Science again in September 2017.

Stoke Hospital (UHNM), and Staffordshire University were starting a brand-new apprenticeship degree for Biomedical Scientists and Katie was offered a place and accepted. “I had always imagined myself attending university full-time so was a little worried about choosing an apprenticeship, something I’d never considered. But I am now 3 years (out of 4) into my apprenticeship and so happy to have chosen this option. Juggling a full-time job and degree simultaneously is tough, but I have had so much support from my work and the university.” Katie says.

 “With Biomedical Science, I have found the work experience to be invaluable to my studies and my future career. I work in the Virology department and I regularly run analysers and perform tests for blood-borne viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis types A, B and C but also other commonly known sexual health conditions including chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. It feels great to be a part of the NHS, where I always knew I would work, knowing you are helping to diagnose and monitor patients’ diseases and contribute to their treatment, even if we are never seen in the labs.

 With the current pandemic I am now full time in the molecular virology laboratory testing samples for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)! Even if a little disjointed and not how I planned my life after BWH to be, I am proud to be where I am now. I have almost completed my degree, I am contributing to a pandemic and diagnosing patients every day!”

 Katie – we applaud you!  We couldn’t be more proud.

If you know of a former pupil currently working on the front line as a key worker, please email Mrs Nee on with details.  We would love to hear from you.