Inspirational Whalley resident enjoys adventure

Wendy Hollins has recently returned from Cape Town

With son and daughter Blaydon and Liselle Hollins, and partner Simon Teale – who made the trip with her

At the Cape of Good Hope

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

AN inspirational student has been tackling a degree, South African culture and even mountains on the trip of a lifetime.

Wendy Hollins was born with no legs below the knee and has no left arm below her elbow.

But it hasn’t stopped her pursuing a social science degree at the University Centre at Blackburn College (UCBC).

The 42-year-old, known to her friends as Wez, said her condition had never stopped her from doing anything, including kayaking, abseiling or mountaineering.

She has just returned from her most recent adventure as part of her studies, which included conquering Table Mountain in her wheelchair.

Wez also explored South African society as part of her degree, enabled by the special links between UCBC and the University of Cape Town.

She is hoping the course will help her onto a PGCE and towards her dream of becoming a sociology and psychology lecturer.

Whalley resident Wez, who used artificial legs from the age of four until her early 20s, said: “I got my legs when I started primary school, and I remember I used to love taking them off and running beneath the school tables!

“I couldn’t wear them once I got pregnant with my daughter 20 years ago, and over time I ended up preferring the wheelchair and it hasn’t stopped me doing anything. The only thing I won’t try is skiing.

“Having the chance to go to South Africa was massive. I have been in and out of education all my life and when I turned 40 I decided, with the support from my partner Simon, that I should try for a degree.

“I needed special support due to my disability and I also suffer from chronic joint pain and often have tendonitis in my right arm as it’s so overused.

“It’s congenital so I’m used to just getting on with things as much as I can, but obviously, for the trip, I needed extra help and support which the university sorted for me.

“South Africa is such a diverse place and Cape Town was incredible. We got my wheelchair up Table Mountain and I attended seminars at the university. It was mind-blowing.

“People think the odds are stacked against them getting a degree but, if I can do it, anybody can.”

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