Now in the second year of her Education and English degree, Emilia McRobie, from Gateshead, has received a £2,000 Edge Hill Entrance Excellence Scholarship.
During sixth form, Emilia volunteered with Newcastle-based Success4All – a children’s tutoring and befriending service. She also helped at a local school as a football coach, teaching assistant and librarian.
Alongside her studies and volunteering, Emilia has spent many years caring for her mum, who suffers from multiple chronic conditions, including fibromyalgia and lupus.
These experiences – coupled with her greater understanding of the UK’s education system through her studies – have fuelled her passion for child equality.
“Getting involved with other young carers opened my eyes to just how many there are. You wouldn’t believe the extent of what they do. I can’t imagine being seven years old having to fully care for an adult, making sure they take their medication and feeding them. They miss out on so much. I would love to work to change the system to ensure all children are supported to have the same opportunities.”
There are currently around 800,000 young carers aged between 5 and 17 in the UK. Once she completes her degree, Emilia is keen to work in the charity sector, influencing policy and improving the support available.
Emilia continues her love of volunteering at university. She’s President of Edge Hill’s ‘Uni Boob Team’ – a society representing breast cancer awareness charity, Coppafeel, on campus. It encourages all young people to check their breasts, and this academic year it’s already fundraised close to £2000.
Emilia’s charity work links to her small online business, which her scholarship award helps fund. She sells ‘body positivity’ merchandise through Instagram and the online craft site Etsy.
“I want to raise a smile and make people feel confident whatever their shape and size. I’m a bigger girl, and I didn’t feel good enough for a long time. I wanted to change things about myself. Now I’ve shifted how I think, and I want to help others do the same. I’ve unfollowed many people on social media with ‘society bodies,’ which don’t often reflect reality anyway. I’m much more interested in people and organisations who reflect real life and look to make a difference.”
Emilia’s next challenge is to personally raise £2500 through this summer’s CoppaTrek on the Pembrokeshire Coast, covering 100km over five days.
Edge Hill Excellence Scholarships are awarded to students proud of something they have achieved and can demonstrate determination, commitment and achievement outside of their studies.
Edge Hill University has a broad programme of scholarships for prospective and current students, recognising practical and academic excellence.
Edge Hill’s BA (Hons) Education and English teaches the history, philosophy, psychology and sociology of Education. It includes how governments have shaped the way we teach children and train adults in the UK. It also explores key themes and periods in the development of the English language and literature.