15th January 2004




Mature student Amanda Dow is to graduate next week despite having to go back to full-time work in the last year of her degree after her husband had a heart attack.


Amanda Dow (42) who left school with 5 O-levels also manages to find time to do voluntary work in the community.


She will graduate with a BA (Hons) History of Art and Design at the ceremony at Lincoln Cathedral on Wednesday 21st January.


Amanda, from Yarborough Road in Lincoln, took a full-time job as a library assistant at the University of Lincoln’s Cathedral Campus when her husband suffered a debilitating heart attack.


“My colleagues at the university were very supportive.  I had the resources of the university library at my disposal making this the ideal place for me to finish my degree and write my dissertation,” said Amanda.


“I had always been interested in history and collected handwritten cookery books when I worked in catering.”


Her love for history and art deepened when she took a part time course at De Montfort University in 1996.  The course, Recording the Heritage, encouraged people to do local historical research. 


“This was my first introduction to university life and the academic staff.  It gave me lots of confidence and made that first initial step back into education a few years later a lot easier.”


Along with her husband and two friends, Amanda set up ‘Freefall fairies’- a voluntary organisation which promotes recycling in community art.


She was recently nominated for the Lincolnshire Echo volunteer awards and also attended the Higher Education Active Community Fund (HEACF) awards last November as a finalist.


Amanda still works at the Cathedral Campus library and is putting her experience as a student to good use by helping current undergraduates with any difficulties they may face.


“You have only got one life and you can either do something positive with it or not.”


Her daughter Hazel (17) is currently studying an AFCE in Art and Design at the Cathedral Campus and has applied to do an Illustration degree at the university.

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For more information contact:

Lindsey Bird, Assistant Press Officer University of Lincoln Tel: 01522 886244 Email: lbird@lincoln.ac.uk Check for the latest university news at www.lincoln.ac.uk/news