Lauren King from Warrington who studied at Edge Hill as an undergraduate and has stayed on to take a MSc Psychotherapy and Counselling, has been celebrated for her “remarkable enthusiasm and dedication” in supporting students with similar experiences to her own, always ready to share heartfelt insight.
She has been described as “an asset” to the Widening Access Team, giving up her time to support them. She has been instrumental in designing and implementing several initiatives, including ‘This is Home’ and ‘Discover Your Potential’ – helping 14-16-year-olds who have experienced care to see higher education as an option.
Working alongside her fellow ‘This is Home’ panel members, Lauren has influenced changes in language around care-experienced and estranged students to ensure it’s as inclusive as possible and the financial support available to them. She has also designed activities, such as a self-reflection tasks, where they can express their worries about university in a safe space.
This scholarship win is a massive boost for Lauren:
“It will not only boost my CV and employability but also my confidence. When I feel like I’m doing everything wrong, when I struggle to recognise any of my work as an ‘achievement,’ I will think of this award and the kind words of the person who nominated me.”
Lauren has been open about her mental health challenges. She sees helping others as also helping herself:
“For the longest time, I was my own worst enemy, and I didn’t see any future for myself worth fighting for. Learning to fight for myself and let others fight for me when I didn’t think I deserved it has been a real challenge. I think being on the panel helped with that. Fighting for others helped me to feel deserving of a good life. Like I was giving something, and so I deserved to receive something. It was also for – and in honour of – the little girl I used to be, who wanted others to fight for her when no one did. It’s also in honour of all those who saw the little girl who needed someone and went out of their way to be that someone. Teachers, support staff, therapists, doctors, classmates, friends; they inspire me every day, every step of the way.”
And Lauren is grateful to Edge Hill for opening up so may career options:
“I know in my lifetime I will be a counsellor or therapist of some sort, but there are so many other skills I can use in different areas. I’m considering the NHS graduate training scheme or applying for a role in higher education where I can support students from widening access backgrounds like myself. I also have a creative side, and working somewhere that nurtures that would be nice. Being at Edge Hill is like being a kid in a candy shop; there are so many opportunities to learn, grow, and develop. Choosing the path for me will be difficult, but I am confident the University will support me every step of the way.”
The Adam Bell Scholarship, named in memory of Edge Hill’s first scholarships administrator, recognises students who make a significant contribution to the University community and/or who demonstrate dedication, resilience and compassion. We have a broad programme of scholarships for prospective and current students, recognising practical and academic excellence.
There is more information available about the support we offer for care-experienced and estranged students.
December 6, 2023