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A woman with a promising career in social work has been honoured with the Chancellor’s Scholarship at Edge Hill University.

Jay Lowe, from Salford, has received the prestigious award in recognition of her dedication to her studies, and the fact she overcame adversity to embark on a university degree.

“I didn’t even know I had been nominated,” said Jay. “I was really pleased and humbled – and a little bit embarrassed.”

Jay first began studying for a social work degree more than a decade ago. She had already lost her mother, then her dad became ill and also died, leaving her as sole carer of her brother and sister, then aged 15 and 11.

“I had to pack in university because, basically, I needed to get a job. I worked as a drug and alcohol worker in Manchester then, as they grew up and moved on with their lives, I was faced with redundancy and I decided it was time to move on and try to get a degree in social work, which has always been my passion.”

Jay was nominated for the Chancellor’s Scholarship based on this resilience and tenacity that she has demonstrated since returning to her studies. The judges said it was evident that Jay’s work is indicative of her commitment to promoting social work. They also said that she is not only an ambassador for the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Social Work, but also for Edge Hill University as a whole.

Jay has also volunteered to develop a Social Work Association, which aims to benefit current students with mentoring, peer-to-peer support, and an opportunity to explore different areas of professional practice – as well as having a social side.

Jay added: “I’m in my second year and our year group is very, very close, so I wanted to bring that positive experience to the whole faculty.”

Jay will use her scholarship fund to help with travel expenses during her degree. And she says she definitely made the right decision by embarking on her social work degree at the Ormskirk University, adding: “I love it at Edge Hill; I wouldn’t have it any other way.”