A grandmother who once struggled with her reading and writing has received a Student of the Year accolade.

Sarann Lovell (46), from Uttoxeter, received her award from record-breaking freestyle swimmer Mark Foster at a day of celebrations to mark the achievements of students at an awards ceremony by Burton and South Derbyshire College.

The celebration honoured those who have overcome adversity, achieved excellence in their field or given an outstanding contribution to their course or community.

Sarran had been unable to work for some time due to health problems when she decided to enrol on a course at the college.

Low in confidence, she had been diagnosed with dyslexia earlier in life and struggled with her reading and writing.

However as her young granddaughter edged closer to school-age, Sarann became determined to learn to read and write.

Melanie Arrowsmith-Kemp, the head of foundation learning and skills for work at the college, said: “Sarran has developed her confidence and has become a supportive, popular and positive role model to fellow students on her course.”

Sarran added: “My confidence has improved so much that I’m now volunteering as a student rep and a mentor to students with learning difficulties.”

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