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Degree of success for great-grandmother

07 January 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

Age is no barrier to learning for Marion

A great-grandmother has proved you’re never too old to learn after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) with a degree in history and politics over 50 years after leaving school.

Marion Mather, 67, has started the New Year with a degree of success after she was awarded an honours degree in history and politics following a life-changing decision to return to education in 2008.

The Chorley mother-of-two sons, several step-children and a brood of grandchildren and great-grandchildren spent her working life sewing nappies, spinning cashmere and working in shops before returning to education. She commented: “I lost my husband Alan seven years ago and didn’t want to be sat in on my own all the time so I booked myself onto a beginners’ computer course and everything spiralled from there.

I’ve loved every minute of it from the studying to the fantastic friends I’ve made along the way. The students made it for me; I was the oldest there, even older than the tutors, but everyone was really friendly and supportive.

“I’m dyslexic but of course when I was at school it wasn’t recognised. I wasn’t allowed to sit the 11 plus and a reading time I was always told to get my colouring bo ok out so returning to education was a big step for me.

“After completing the computer course I did another one to bring my English and maths up to standard and I was so pleased when I finally got a GCSE A for English and C for maths. My sons were so proud of me; I’m glad I was finally able to prove that I am capable and it gave me something else to focus on.”

Marion’s success led her to a creative writing course and after her tutors suggested entering a higher education she was over the moon. After passing a foundation course at Runshaw College Marion signed up for a three-year degree course in history and politics at UCLan and has never looked back.

She said: “I’ve loved every minute of it from the studying to the fantastic friends I’ve made along the way. The students made it for me; I was the oldest there, even older than the tutors, but everyone was really friendly and supportive. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I particularly want to thank my UCLan tutors Billy Frank, David Stewart, Stephen Meredith and Brian Rosebury, along with my dyslexic support tutor Rosella Davenport, for their ongoing support throughout my studies.”