A picture of Amy Smith and her parents.
Amy Smith with her parents

A Manchester student who put her mum’s health before her studies says lockdown helped her complete her degree after four years.

Amy Smith, 23, who is graduating with a BSc (Hons) Child Health and Wellbeing degree, has spent the past 17 weeks (and counting) shielding with her dad and mum, who is battling cancer.

Despite taking a year out of her studies to support her mum through ongoing treatment, Amy returned to Edge Hill University a couple of months before lockdown began.

She said: “I wanted to take some time out so I could spend more time with my mum and focus on being at home and supporting my parents.

“The year just flew by but my parents were really keen for me to get back on track so I returned this semester, which was a bit daunting as all my friends had graduated last year.

“But my tutors were so supportive and I loved being back but then Coronavirus hit and we started shielding.

“But I can honestly say lockdown was a blessing. It gave me time to complete my degree but more importantly allowed me to spend time with mum and see more of my dad.

“He’s never worked from home before and we only used to see each other at the weekends so it’s been great to work at home together and coordinate breaks, just spend time as family.”

Amy now hopes to find work in health and social care, and after a six-month university placement in a special educational needs school, would love to work with children with disabilities.

She added: “I want people to know that they can complete a degree despite the problems they’re facing, even if it takes a bit longer.

“There were many times I thought I just can’t do it, but thanks to the amazing support of the university and my family I couldn’t be happier that I’m a graduate.”

Moira Little, Programme Leader for Health and Wellbeing said: “Amy’s story is one of perseverance and determination and although completion has taken a little longer than she anticipated, she’s become a truly admirable graduate who has overcome adversity to reach her end goal.”

Edge Hill offers a range of courses in health and social care, visit the website for more information.