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Mum who lost terminally ill son is named College of West Anglia’s student of year

A mother who juggled hospital appointments, online lessons, homeschooling and caring for her terminally ill son has been named the College of West Anglia (CWA)’s Student of the Year.

Amanda Hughes
Amanda Hughes

Level 3 equine management student from CWA Cambridge campus, Amanda Hughes also won the personal achievement category.

Amanda’s nominator, equine programme manager Emma Pewter, said: “Manda joined us as a mature student, with little self-confidence and no qualifications. As the only mature learner, Manda showed admirable adaptability and commitment to make friends and was a valuable and motivational member of the group, really helping younger students to make the most of their time at college.

“Manda had a terminally ill son and through lockdowns, she juggled home schooling, hospital appointments, online lessons and caring for her son – and yet achieved distinction grades in her exams.

“Sadly, Manda’s son’s health deteriorated and he died shortly before Christmas.

“Manda has gone through the worst possible emotional distress and upheaval during her course. Her resilience and determination in the face of adversity, and the improvement in her self-belief over the past three years, are an example to everyone.”

Students, staff and governors came together with families and friends to celebrate the outstanding academic and personal achievements at the annual CWA Student Awards ceremony, which was hosted by assistant principal student services, Paul O’Shea.

CWA principal, David Pomfret, said: “2021/22 continued to be a very challenging year globally and the Covid-19 pandemic presented significant challenges for our students.

“Despite that, it has been another extremely successful year for the college and it has been wonderful to celebrate together in person, following virtual events last year.

“Our award winners have been nominated from our body of approximately 7,000 students and they should be very proud of their achievements. I’m extremely proud and congratulate our students on their commitment, standard of work and accomplishments.

“I would like to thank all the students’ families, friends and employers for their support and encouragement during their studies and for coming to celebrate with our award winners this evening.”

There were 10 winners named on the evening in categories ranging from creative arts to technology, business and sport.

CWA is one of the largest providers of education and training in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, with sites in King’s Lynn, Milton and Wisbech.

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