7th September 2004




A mother-of-three has overcome her husband’s near-fatal car accident to gain a first-class honours degree and a special prize from the University of Lincoln.


Clare Gray (38) will also give the vote of thanks when she attends Lincoln Cathedral next week to collect her degree.


While working for the RAF as house manager for the Commander of British Forces in Cyprus her husband Andrew was involved in a serious road accident in 1996.


He had severe physical injuries and was paralysed down his left side for several years. While he is now on the road to recovery he was medically discharged from the RAF after 22 years of service.


“Andrew is quite well now but he often describes himself as my fourth child as I have been his carer since the accident,” says Clare.


“I knew that I would never be able to earn the sort of salary that Andrew was earning with the RAF unless I retrained for a different career, so I decided to enrol on the Health Studies course at the university.


“Now we’ve reversed our roles – he’s taken on the household chores and the child-rearing while I am going to Nottingham University to study for a Postgraduate Certificate in Continuing Education and hope to become a lecturer.”


Clare was delighted to hear she’s gained a first-class degree. “I couldn’t believe it when I got it,” she said. “Although I did the course on my own it really was a family effort and I also had tremendous support from the Health Studies lecturers.


“They were fantastic. I never asked for special treatment but they knew what my personal circumstances were and they helped me through the highs and lows.”


Clare says she would encourage other mature students to aim high. “I didn’t have any A-levels but there were no barriers put up to stop me enrolling,” she says.


“I had always assumed that I wouldn’t be able to study for a degree, but there was never any suggestion that I couldn’t do it.”


Clare will collect her degree and give the vote of thanks at Lincoln Cathedral at 7.30pm on Tuesday 14th September.


For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk