Legal eagle, Jane, wins prestigious award

9th March 2015

A Barking & Dagenham College student has received the Outstanding Commitment to Study Award at the annual Keith Fletcher Awards ceremony. Jane Lacey, 42, from Romford received her prize from Nic Dakin MP, at a prestigious reception held at the Palace of Westminster this week (5th March). Over 25,000 other nominated students were vying for the top award, so Jane?s win is a great achievement.

Access to University

The Awards, set up in 2011, are designed to celebrate the work of students across the UK studying Access to Higher Education Diplomas which prepare mature students, who do not have the necessary qualifications, to study at university. The Awards were created in memory of Keith Fletcher, who was a great supporter and enthusiast of Access courses and dedicated his life to promoting the work of Access.

A Legal Career

Jane was nominated for the award by her tutor at the College, Sabeena Shah. Throughout her studies Jane has shown incredible determination to follow her dream to become a barrister. Jane, who is a single mother of four and a grandmother to three, decided to study law at the College in 2012.

She was forced to withdraw from the course by health issues but having recovered, Jane re-enrolled in 2013 and completed her Access to Law course. Jane is now studying for a BA in Criminology and Psychology at the University of East London.

Legal Advice Clinic

Whilst her academic success is itself impressive, Jane was also instrumental in setting up Barking & Dagenham College’s legal advice clinic. The clinic, run by Access to Law students offers free legal advice to the public. Jane has also acted as a mentor for other students and was named ‘Learner of the Year’ at the College’s Excellence Awards in November. She has also been a keen ambassador for education, speaking at events about how education is giving her the tools she needs to achieve a new life.

At the awards ceremony, Jane was presented with a certificate and a cheque for £800 to help her in her future studies. Jane said:

“I am determined to succeed and to give my children and grandchildren the best life possible. I have an interest in working with people who are psychologically challenged. I want to understand why people do things. With the help of everyone at Barking & Dagenham College, my dream of becoming a barrister is now half way to becoming a reality. I want to continue my studies and become Dr Jane Lacey QC!”

Cathy Walsh OBE, Principal and CEO at Barking & Dagenham College said:

“We are delighted that Jane has won this award. Every year around 500 Access to Higher Education students join Barking & Dagenham College to get one step closer to achieving their dreams of studying for a degree at university.

All have made a significant commitment to return to study, but Jane’s story is a beacon to us all in terms of personal resilience and determination to succeed no matter what challenges she faces. I hope this recognition helps to further fuel her commitment to qualify as a barrister. ”

Sabeena Shah added:

“Jane is one of the most positive, enthusiastic and determined people you could wish to meet. She is fantastic and loved by staff and students alike. She is a true role model for others and thoroughly deserves this award.”

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