20th July 2000




Angela Hawkesley ‘moved mountains’ to gain a degree in social work which she achieved while recovering from breast cancer, and caring for her disabled daughter and sick husband.


For the first two years Angela, from Chesterfield, lived in a caravan with her family to attend full-time on the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside course.


Husband Michael was the main carer of 30-year-old Frances, who was disabled in a road accident aged six, until he had two strokes during Angela’s second year at the Cottingham Road campus.


Discovering she had breast cancer, Angela then took a year out to undergo a major operation, followed by chemotherapy. But she returned to Hull the next September to continue with her degree.


“I wanted it so much that come hell or high water I was going to finish my degree,” said Angela, 56. “I’m just one of those people, I have lots of stamina and I was absolutely determined.”


Now she’s graduated Angela is applying for work in the area of helping people with learning disabilities become more independent.


The process of getting back into higher education and achieving her dream has taken six years, including an access course and her year out.


Senior lecturer in social work David Crimmens says she’s one in a million. “This woman has moved mountains, she’s amazing,” he said.


“All students have to work hard but Angela has overcome the most difficult circumstances imaginable. You only have to hear her story to realise that anything is possible if you really want it.”


Angela will graduate at City Hall tomorrow at 11am.




Angela can be contacted on 0410 166965 (not for publication) and is willing to do interviews.

Sam Hendley Press Officer. Tel: 01522 886042