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First cohort of students from the SENDS programme graduate

The first cohort of students have graduated from the BA (Hons) in Special Education Needs and Disability Studies degree. Among them was Kayleigh Norris who overcame cancer during her studies.

In 2010 Kayleigh was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer, an Angiosarcoma which affects bone and soft tissue.

Last year launched to share how she lives a healthy and active lifestyle whist living with cancer. She describes her vision as ‘to inspire, promote health and spread self-love all through a realistic lens; and celebrate the beauty that is found in our routine of everyday life.’

The 28 year old from Felixstowe is now working for MyGO helping 16-24 year olds into employment or education.

Kayleigh said of her university experience “It has been amazing, life changing. I feel so proud. I’ve never been very academic but my time at the university has helped me to flourish and they treat you as an individual. It has been life changing in such a positive way.”

“I couldn’t do my job without my degree and I love it, it’s really rewarding. I am trying to get them to include an SEN (Special Educational Needs) element to it too.”

Kayleigh had this advice for students overcoming adversity “Just keep going, don’t let it define it. I remember it was thought that with my learning profile, with my dyslexia, and with my cancer diagnosis that it might have been too much to do my degree as well but I disagreed and stayed on and ended up with a 2.1. If you access the right student support that can really help. Just keep going, you can do it.”