UCLan graduate and mum of three set to make waves in nutritional world

10 July 2024

Preston mum of three Michelle Welch is planning to use her Nutrition and Exercise Science degree to help people struggling with food poverty.

Michelle, 47, who graduated from the University of Central Lancashire on Tuesday 9 July, says frozen and canned food is nutritious and should be used to create healthy meals on a budget.

While studying, mature student Michelle worked as a Care Navigator at Ash Tree House Surgery in Kirkham and was given training to link patients to the right health professional first time.

Michelle, who is a former pupil of Carr Hill High School in Kirkham, said: “After identifying patients with issues such as loneliness, financial, housing problems as well as food insecurity I’d refer them onto the Social Prescribing team at Blackpool Citizens Advice, who would link people to a variety of services, enabling the clients to make positive changes to their lifestyle.

“I felt this was a role I wanted to investigate further for myself, so I contacted Blackpool Citizens Advice and it was agreed that I would complete my university placement in the town experiencing working in one of the most deprived areas in the country.

“I was successful in securing a role there after my placement and feel that I am already making a positive impact to the referred clients.”

Michelle describes herself as someone who struggled throughout schooling, so being diagnosed with specific learning difficulties was confirmation of the reason why.

“The diagnosis helped me understand that despite my struggles I could achieve my goals with the right support,” added Michelle who is married to Jez and is mum to Lauren, Adam, and Brandon.

“I was given the right tools to help me, such as a specialist support worker and software to help me structure my ideas for assignments.

“I wouldn’t have been able to complete my degree without the support from my family and the tutors at the University of Central Lancashire. As someone who struggled throughout schooling, I’ve learnt anything can be achieved if you have the passion and support network around you.”

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