Master's student who grew up in care receives Royal honour

A DMU Master’s student has been named by the Princess Royal as the winner of the first Adult Learners’ Week Patron’s Award.

Royal Accolade: Adele receives her award from Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, the Princess Royal

Adele Tilley, who is studying a Master's in Business and Management, came to De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) at 21. She grew up in care and was in an abusive relationship which she left to bring up her two children as a single mum.

After completing her maths, English and ICT exams, she went on to do an access diploma in Business Management before embarking on a Master’s.

She also finds time to set up her own consultancy, Tilley Solutions, which runs group sessions and motivational workshops for young girls leaving care to ensure they can make the most of their life through education.

Last year, she was named Leicestershire Student of the Year in a ceremony recognising the achievements of young people around the county.

Judges at this year’s Adult Learners’ Week awards described Adele as a “mini whirlwind”. She is the first person to receive the Patron’s Award, which is chosen by HRH Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, who is a keen supporter of Adult Learners’ Week.

Adele said: “Every aspect of my life has improved since I have returned to education and I truly believe it is because of the confidence I have gained. I will endeavour to inspire others to challenge themselves. Even though it may not be an easy road, it will be well worth it at the end.”


Adele has been supported by the team at DMU's Transition Support which help students adjust to university life. DMU is committed to helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds to come to university and runs a bursary programme for those coming from care backgrounds. Last year the university signed a deal with UNITE to provide five scholarships to those in care coming to DMU.

HE Guidance Officer Melissa Page, who nominated Adele for the award said: “Adele is an outstanding adult learner, who despite her difficult start in life succeeded in obtaining her goal of a place at university.

“She juggles academic work, family life and extra-curricular activities with energy and enthusiasm. She is able to connect with young people and demonstrate that with determination,they have the potential to do what they want with their lives.”


Posted on Wednesday 24th June 2015

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