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Elizabeth was one of almost 4,000 students who graduated from UCLan at Preston’s Guild Hall.

Barrow mum makes daily 140 mile round trip to achieve academic dream

A Barrow mum is celebrating her degree success after travelling almost 140 miles a day to attend university.

Elizabeth Fawcett, a 25-year-old mum of one, graduated from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) this week with a First Class degree in Business and Management after spending the last three years commuting almost 70 miles each way to Preston for her studies.

The former Chetwynde and Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School pupil has juggled her studies with being a mum to three-year-old daughter Hallie.

She commented: “It’s been an intensive three years with many 6.30am train rides to Preston and sometimes getting home late so I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices to get to this point but it’s been worth it.”

Prior to studying at UCLan, Elizabeth trained as a classical singer and pianist as well as working for her dad Dean in his vehicle repair body shop, County Coachbuilders Automotive, in Barrow. It was after having her daughter that Elizabeth decided to pursue a career in business management and alongside this she has volunteered at Barrow Sixth Form College with her grandmother Sheila to gain extra work experience.

I’ve received a lot of guidance from my tutors who took an interest in me as an individual and my mum Debbie and grandma Dorothy have been a great help with childcare.

“I wanted to carve out a good career for myself and my family and I’ve taken a big interest in the HR modules during my course to hopefully go in this direction. I would love to work at BAE Systems and I am keen to develop my career in the local area” she said.

Elizabeth acknowledged the support she’s had during her course. She added: “I’ve received a lot of guidance from my tutors who took an interest in me as an individual and my mum Debbie and grandma Dorothy have been a great help with childcare. I’ve also had a lot of support from my partner Liam and I know they’re all very proud of me.”

Elizabeth’s Course Leader at UCLan, Chris McCarthy, congratulated her student. She said: “Working with Elizabeth has been a humbling experience and she has been amazingly supportive of her peers throughout her time here. Elizabeth is an inspirational individual who has shown strong self-discipline and motivation. She is an excellent role model to other students and it has been a pleasure working with her. I wish her the best of luck in the future.”

Elizabeth was one of almost 4,000 students who graduated from UCLan this week at Preston’s Guild Hall.

Lyndsey Boardman | 18 July 2016