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Blackburn ex-addict turns her life around
A FORMER drug user ‘not expected to live past 16’ turned her life around and has graduated from university.
Jennie Kirby, 27, became dependent on sleeping tablets and marijuana after being placed in care at 13.
A self-confessed ‘tearaway’ who dropped out of school and once attempted suicide, Jennie lived in 13 care homes until she was 17, and was arrested around 30 times.
But now she is poised for a career as an interior designer after gaining a merit in her foundation diploma from Blackburn University Centre.
Jennie, who lives in Cambridge Close, Blackburn, said: “No-one expected me to live past 16.
“I kept getting passed around homes in Rawtenstall, Great Harwood and Blackburn. I even set fire to one kept getting arrested for causing criminal damage.”
Jennie, who collected her degree at Blackburn’s King George’s Hall yesterday said she would not be where she is today without the help of her former care worker, Bernadette Walker.
She said: “She stuck by me through everything. She convinced me that I could do something with my life.
“Now I’m topping up my diploma to a full BA honours so I can find a job as a commercial designer.
“Although she’s no longer my care worker, Bernadette means the world to me and is the closest thing I have to a mother figure.
“I’d like to tell others like me that although being in care may seem like the most horrendous thing now, things do get better.
“The world is your oyster and you just have to realise your potential.” Bernadette said: “The change in her is amazing and I’m so proud of her because she’s had such a tough time.”
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