Jessica in her gown.
First for carer
By Hamish Reid
Jessica Elliot, from Rochester, has been acheived a frist class degree from Oxford University while working as a carer for her mother and grandmother.
Jessica, a former pupil at King's School in Rochester, was working as a carer at home for both her mother and grandmother. She was the first person in her family to go to an independent school, with financial help from the school.
A keen musician, Jessica spent her spare time looking after her mother, who had been suffering for many years with Lupus, an auto-imune condition. A series of mini strokes meant that by the time Jessica did her GCSEs, her mum could only walk with the aid of sticks. Adding to Jessica's workload, her disabled grandmother also came to live with the family.
Deborah, Jessica's mum.
She continued to receive both financial and pastoral support once she started at Oxford University reading classics and modern languages at Exeter College.
Jessica said, "In my final year, my mother's condition deteriorated significantly, and after several emergency hospital trips at Christmas she was unable to leave the house. It was with the help of the college's hardship support that I was able to afford the trips to visit her at home and in hospital."
After receiving the news of her First Class Degree, she said, "I had only achieved what hundreds achieve every year, but there had been long periods when it seemed that circumstances would make it impossible."
last updated: 18/09/2009 at 12:30