Day three of graduations will see students from the Faculty of Health and Social Care pick up their degree awards in Counselling, Health and Wellbeing, Nursing, Nursing and Social Work, Nutrition, Operating Department Practice, Paramedic Practice, Professional Education, Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behaviour and Social Work.

An Honorary Award will be given to Former Dean of Postgraduate Medical Studies at Health Education England, Professor Jacky Hayden.

You can follow Edge Hill graduations live at through @EdgeHill or by following the #EHUgrad on Twitter.

Watch ceremonies live here:

Words of advice from medical education expert to Edge Hill’s health and social care graduates

Prof Jacky Hayden CBE

A medical expert who has helped to improve the education and training of a generation of health professionals has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Science by Edge Hill University.

Professor Jacky Hayden CBE has worked across the North West as Dean of Postgraduate Medical Studies at Health Education England. She started her career as a GP in Bury, where she continued to practise medicine until 2009 alongside regional and national roles in medical education and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

In 2012 she completed four years as the Chair of the Committee of English Deans, she was an inaugural member of Medical Education England and an active participant in the Medical Programme Board, where she led work on metrics for medical education.

Jacky took an active role in the Royal College of General Practitioners, serving for 27 years on the council. She also received a CBE in 2013, the same year she was named as one of the Health Service Journal’s Top 50 Inspirational Women. The Royal College of General Practitioners awarded her the prestigious William Pickles Medal and the Foundation College Award.

She retired from her work as Postgraduate Dean in September 2016 but continued to work in medical education in roles in the GMC, Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service Committee, Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management and she joined the Board of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust as a non-executive board member.

She was also a board member of the Edge Hill Postgraduate Medical Institute and her guidance and experience during that time has helped contribute to the academic foundations of the University’s own Medical School.

In the ceremony, Jacky had some words of advice for Edge Hill’s new graduates in Health and Social care.

She said: “Throughout my career I have been fortunate to work with a range of wonderful leaders and I would like to pass on to you some of their messages.

“The first is about working with others, leaving a meeting where both feel good about the interaction is ideal. Whether this is a patient, a client or a colleague, try to understand the other person’s position by listening more than talking and try to meet them in their place of work. This allows you to appreciate what is important to them and provides an added benefit of meeting others along the way and catching them doing great work.

“The second is to take care of your signature. Once your name has been added to a document it becomes your responsibility. In our modern world the same applies to a login. Sharing logins can mean your name is associated with something you wouldn’t want it to be and in the worst case can make you culpable.

“The third is to recognise that bad things do happen and it’s how you respond that counts. Learning the art of an effective apology is a must for all of us, as is the ability to bounce back from adversity and learn from it.

“Finally, it’s tough out there and all too often easy options can present themselves. Remember the words of David Morrison: ‘the standard you walk past is the standard you accept’.”

She added: “I hope that you have the courage to speak out when things seem wrong, the wisdom and ability to change that which needs to be changed and the good grace to celebrate success with your teams.”


Chancellor’s Scholarship winner gives underrepresented individuals in the UK a voice

Alongside his academic studies, committed student Kyle Clark has dedicated much of his time to raising awareness of mental health and issues within the LGBT+ community, and this has earned him a prestigious Chancellor’s Scholarship.

After stumbling across the course by chance, Wirral-born Kyle has never looked back, and has graduated from Edge Hill University today with a first class degree in Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behaviour.

“When it came to deciding on university options I was completely lost,” admitted Kyle. “I had a passion for both Psychology and Sociology and when I came across the Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behaviour course, the modules sounded perfect.”

It was after attending an event on campus that Kyle was inspired to start writing about equality and diversity, two topics he is truly passionate about.

“I was invited to attend an I4P event at Edge Hill hosted by Jan Cunliffe, a representative of the campaign JENGbA,” said Kyle. “Afterwards, I had a good chat with Jan about the campaign and offered to write an article about the event and garner some positive social media attention. This ended up being my first article which was widely shared on social media, and it made me realise how much I loved writing articles and blogs and decided to setup my own blog where I could unload my thoughts and feelings toward contemporary topics of interest.

“After a while, I decided that I wanted to share my work with more people so I contacted literally hundreds of media outlets and news companies to see if they would be interested in sharing my work. It wasn’t until about a month later I received a reply from a Senior Editor at Huffington Post UK who loved an article I had written about ‘Coming Out in the 21st Century,’ and I was sent some login details for my own contributor account at Huffington Post.

“Since then I’ve had five articles published and promoted on their main pages. Alongside Huffington Post, I have had articles published with Time to Change and #MentalMovement Magazine. I am also in the process of having one of my pieces published in a print magazine, and I have recently begun an article series on queer representation in film and TV where I talk about how well (or not) a film or TV show has portrayed queer individuals.”

Kyle has received a coveted Chancellor’s Scholarship in recognition of his contribution to the Edge Hill community after being nominated by three of his friends.

Sean Creaney, Lecturer in Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behaviour, said:

“As a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and Mental Movement magazine, Kyle has written about important topics, including LGBTQ+ rights and mental health awareness. We hope he is as proud of himself as we are. Kyle and other students like him are the reason why the BSc (Hons) Psychosocial Analysis of Offending course has gone from strength to strength. Kyle is a caring and empathic young man with a very bright future ahead of him”.

Kyle will undertake a Masters degree at Edge Hill in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Wellbeing and will continue to write and publish articles on a wide array of platforms on mental health and LGBT+ issues.

“I hope the Masters degree will give me the knowledge and expertise to enhance my writing skills and continue to write about the things that I believe in. I will continue to send articles to major news companies in the UK with the hopes of expanding my platform and giving underrepresented individuals in the UK a voice.”

To find out more about studying Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behaviour, click here.

Fastrack course gave first class graduate confidence to turn life around

An Edge Hill graduate has been awarded first class honours and a 98 per cent dissertation mark in her Counselling and Psychotherapy degree despite initially thinking University wasn’t an achievable option.

Lesley Rimmer, 37, from Bootle, was forced to drop out of sixth-form college when chronic ill health affected her confidence and sense of self-worth. It was only at age 34, after a 15-year stint working in a bank’s finance department that she applied for a place on Edge Hill’s Fastrack access to higher education course, encouraged by her husband.

“I had always known I wanted to work with people, however lacked the necessary qualifications and confidence to further my education,” Lesley said. “Due to gynaecological issues, we were unable to start the family I had always dreamed of, despite various infertility treatments. When the opportunity arose to take voluntary redundancy my husband supported my decision to take it and change my career. My experience of being unable to have children and my mental health has meant I had seen counsellors from varying modalities over the years and I knew that this is where my passion lay. Saying that, my confidence was so low that when I had my interview for the Fastrack course I had convinced myself I wouldn’t be offered a place!”

“During Fastrack I struggled with a lack of confidence in my academic ability,” she continues. “However achieving a distinction meant I felt more confident approaching my first year as an undergraduate. Throughout my undergraduate programme, I battled with my confidence issues, at times I had considered dropping out, however my personal tutor Dr. Irene Dudley-Swarbrick was always there, and had an unwavering belief in my ability.

“She went above and beyond offering writing workshops and video recorded sessions to ensure we could achieve our best. Each time I got a great mark I was spurred on, believing ‘I can do this’. I think the real confidence boost came when I achieved my mark in my Literature Review dissertation. Working with Irene had awakened my feminist consciousness so I wanted my review to be both feminist and political, and I focused on my personal experience of not being able to have children as the driving force. Dealing with a subject that is deeply personal to me meant I was able to really immerse myself in the process and when I achieved 98 per cent in my dissertation I felt my confidence soar.”

Describing her experience of mentoring other ‘Fastrackers’ during her time as an undergraduate, Lesley said:

“I feel I have a deep understanding of coming into the university environment as a non-standard student, and therefore was able to offer the Fastrackers a great deal of empathy and understanding. It was incredibly rewarding to offer examples of my own experience to help alleviate any concerns they may have had. It also boosted my own confidence as I was able to recognise how far I had come in my own journey.”

Lesley intends to return to Edge Hill to study an MRes, this will be a continuation of her undergraduate dissertation, drawing on her own experience of being unable to conceive as the basis of an auto-ethnographic research study.

“Being a qualified counsellor now means I am able to work reflexively to a high standard so this will facilitate me in achieving this,” she said. “Once I have completed my MRes, I wish hope complete a PhD, also at Edge Hill, in the same area of political feminism. My career goal is to set up my own private practice as a psychotherapist and become research active within the field of counselling and psychotherapy.”

Click here for more information about Edge Hill’s Counselling and Psychotherapy courses.

Student graduates with a first after studying next to her premature baby’s incubator

A Newton-Le-Willows student who spent months in hospital, gave birth at just 28 weeks, and studied next to her baby’s incubator, is graduating today with a first class degree in Integrated Children and Young People’s Practice.

Helena Moreno Rubio (33) is a senior learning assistant at a nursery school, and had already completed a foundation degree in Early Years Practice when she decided to start a degree at Edge Hill University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care.

After meeting programme leader Toni Bewley, Helena decided to apply for the conversion degree as the course allowed her to fit her studies around her busy life, full time job, and children.

Then, shortly after starting, mum-of-two Helena discovered she was pregnant again.

“I was over the moon and that made me even more determined to study,” she said. “But December came around and I started having pregnancy related problems.

“I contacted Toni and explained and she kept in regular contact making sure both me and the baby were ok; from them on I was in and out of hospital all the way through to my baby girl’s early arrival.”

Helena had just begun the background research for her dissertation when her baby girl Àlex made an early appearance at just 28 weeks gestation.

“This was a really hard time, not only for me, but for my whole family,” said Helena.

“I decided to have a two week break from everything whilst we were in the neonatal intensive care unit in Arrowe Park Hospital, once we were out of intensive care and into special care I could refocus on the dissertation and it helped me stay sane as I was living at the hospital with her for the whole eight weeks she was in.

“Doing the dissertation was part of my daily routine, between doing her cares (changing a tiny nappy, and checking and recording the baby’s temperature), I would sit by her incubator and write or research.

She added: “Whilst there were plenty of times that I thought I couldn’t do it, that it was impossible, but Toni was amazing at keeping in contact with me throughout to check not only on course progress but on how my baby girl and myself were doing.”

Helena now plans to take a year off studying and enjoy spending every minute possible with her baby girl and family.

“I definitely would not have been able to finish this degree without the help and support from Toni, my husband and my daughters they kept me going when it got tough. I am forever grateful to them,” she said.

“My advice to anyone is that nothing is impossible if you’re determined to do it. You have to work hard at everything in life if you want to achieve. You may have to make sacrifices in order to succeed but surround yourself with those who matter to you the most, they will understand and push you to achieve.”

Find out more about studying health and social care here.