Cassandra Adom waiting for her ceremony to begin

A catering professional who lost her husband to cancer turned to study to find out more about how food may have an impact on the disease’s cause and possible mitigation.

Cassandra Adom, a mum of two from Manchester is graduating from Edge Hill University with a degree in Nutrition and Health after combining her love of cooking with a desire to learn more about the basic building blocks of food and its effect on the body.

“I was born in Ghana,” said Cassandra. “Growing up, it is impressed on you to learn the act of housekeeping early. At the very centre of the housekeeping duties is cooking. I realised very early on that I had an extra knack not just for cooking but cooking good food hence my catering background.”

Cassandra worked in a variety of catering roles, including the Copthorne Hotel in Manchester, Michael Caines’ restaurant in ABode Manchester and was head cook for Childbase Nurseries in Coventry.

“Even though I have always loved cooking and turned it into my profession, my extra motivation for this course stems from a combination of tragic and sobering circumstances,” she said. “In my quest to find the cause and ways to help understand the disease, I learnt what we eat could be one of the possible triggers at the same time to help fight or mitigate and slow the spread and its effect.

“Though the three-year journey it has been bumpy and at times challenging, I did enjoy every bit of it. I have learnt a lot from the programme and I now have the ability to confidently apply the practical strategies from it in a professional setting.

“Edge Hill has given me the greatest experiences in life. I learnt so many skills while studying on the course such as working in a team and being professional. The list is endless. It has been brilliant. I have made some wonderful friends and I have been strengthened and gained much confidence as a person.”

She progressed to her degree course after completing the Fastrack programme. Fastrack offers adults the chance to gain the skills, understanding and confidence required for degree level with training offered in essential study skills.

Cassandra hopes to study for a Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and would like to work in the health sector. At the moment she is volunteering at FoodCycle as a project leader. FoodCycle is a charity which supports people who are hungry and lonely, turning waste food into lunches and dinners.

 She also has some advice for current students: “You are going to be challenged as that is the only way you can develop and further your skills as independent thinkers and learners. This may sound daunting, do not worry and keep focusing. Make the most of the study skills support available to you – there will always be someone who can help if you get stuck. Most importantly, believe in yourself and enjoy your studies! If I have made it, it is possible for you all.”

Find out more about studying Nutrition and Health by visiting the course page.