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Terri Kearney wearing a cap and gown and smiling.

News story

CEO who put studies on hold to support vulnerable groups during pandemic graduates

Publish date: July 22, 2022

A chief executive officer who put her studies on hold during Covid-19 to provide vital frontline services for vulnerable young people is finally graduating from Edge Hill University.

Terri Kearney wearing a cap and gown and smiling.

Terri Kearney established Nightstop Communities Northwest CIC (NCNW) in August 2013, which delivers mental health services and supports vulnerable young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and may be unable to access local authority provisions securing emergency accommodation across the Liverpool City Region.

Prior to the pandemic, Terri had enrolled on the MSc Leadership Development at Edge Hill University.

While studying and continuing her work with Nightstop, Terri was going through a divorce and caring for her mum, who was living with Alzheimer’s.

Terri’s mum sadly died in on New Year’s Day in January 2020, just months before the pressures of the covid-19 pandemic took effect.

During this time, Terri decided to pause her studies to focus on her vital work with Nightstop at a time when they needed it most.

She said: “With everything that was going on in my personal life, things were very tough and I had to prioritise things other than my studies.

“It has been a very difficult time and there were days I wondered how I got through everything.

“I have a fantastic team around me at Nightstop and we knew how important our services were for people who were more vulnerable than ever during the pandemic.

“When I resumed my studies I was determined to finish, and the University was amazing supporting me all the way through.

“The empathy and understanding of the pressures and complexities of my situation made a huge difference.

“Now I’ve come out of the other side of it, I’m proud of myself and my kids are proud of me too.”

Terri had previously studied Psychology at Edge Hill before taking up the MSc Leadership Development course.

Under Terri’s stewardship and supported by a team of 20 employees and 60 volunteers, Nightstop recently won Homelessness Support Service of the Year at the Corporate LiveWire Global Awards, and was also named Best Homelessness and Wellbeing Support Service for North West England in the SME News UK Business Enterprise Awards.

Halton Business Awards selected Nightstop as Large Social Enterprise of the Year for 2022 and Terri has also been shortlisted as a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year category.

To discover more about our courses, please visit ehu.ac.uk/study.

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