Stephanie Edwards decided to leave work and return to education as a mature student, and after overcoming a huge personal hurdle, she has been awarded a prestigious Chancellor’s Scholarship.

After discovering her passion for wanting to help people in emotional distress and desire to become a counsellor, Stephanie decided to embark on a BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy programme, from which she graduated this week.

Soon after she started her course, something about Stephanie’s writing caused her tutors to encourage her to seek assessment by Learning Support, and after analysis she was told that she has dyslexia, which came as a complete shock.

Stephanie was wholeheartedly committed towards getting the education she yearned for in order to follow the profession she knew was her calling, so she didn’t let dyslexia stop her and instead fully embraced the support Edge Hill offered.

During her time at Edge Hill, Stephanie has immersed herself in a world of ideas and insights, which have made her fully aware of her potential to make a difference to people’s lives.

As well as her academic success, she has also worked tirelessly at the Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (RASA) in Liverpool, offering her services, support and advocacy for those who have experienced sexual abuse or violence.

She is passionate about working with vulnerable adults within the community, and dedicated to providing a ‘choice’ for clients as risk of being lost within the system. She has also been a strong advocate for equal access to these critical services for both men and women.

Dr Irene Dudley Swarbrick believed that Stephanie was fully deserving of a Chancellor’s scholarship, and nominated her for the award.

“I am overwhelmed by the nomination for a Chancellor’s scholarship and so honoured to receive it too. I have had the most life changing experience at Edge Hill University,” said Stephanie.

“My course tutors have been amazing and I will always be grateful to them as they have been truly inspirational and given me the belief that I could achieve my degree when I had many doubts about myself.  I also had excellent support from Learning Services particularly Lindsey Norburn.  When I received my assessment report to affirm I had dyslexia, it was a relief, and helped me develop and understand my own way of learning, again this has been life changing.

“This scholarship will definitely help me progress on to do my Masters and continue with my voluntary role as a counsellor and psychotherapist for RASA, which is so important to me as I feel privileged to work in this particular field with the clients I hope I can help.”

Stephanie aspires to carry on with her education and complete a PhD that continues the research within her dissertation, and supports and informs the development of RASA’s work.

Click here to find out more about studying Counselling and Psychotherapy at Edge Hill University.