A law student who has battled domestic violence and homelessness before starting university has been named Xcel Student of the Year.
Would-be lawyer Tara Webb walked away with the overall Student of the Year prize as well as the Law Student of the Year gong at the Xcel Student of The Year Awards in London last week.
The University of Greenwich student was recognised for the award, sponsored by CMS Cameron McKenna, for setting up a referral system to provide victims of domestic violence with help and support.
Webb admitted the issue of domestic violence has been an issue that has been very close to her heart since childhood when she was witness to numerous attacks on her mother.
She said: “Once I saw my mum’s boyfriend try to stab her with a knife when I was only about eight years old. I want to raise awareness about domestic violence and let victims know that they shouldn’t be embarrassed or scared to speak about it.”
But not only did the third year law student have to witness abuse as a youngster, she also found herself homeless at aged 17 just as she was about to embark on her A-Levels.
But after finding temporary accommodation she managed to pass her A-levels and secure a place at Greenwich University to read law and is now on her way to achieving a top class honours degree.
Webb said: “It’s been a huge battle to get this far but Greenwich University has been fantastic and all my lecturers have always been behind me pushing me to do my best.”
And things may really start to look up for Webb after she managed to secure a summer vacation scheme with Camerons after winning the gongs.
“Domestic violence has had a huge impact on my life and I hope that this referral system will really help people and make them realise they don’t have to suffer in silence,” she added.
The Xcel Student of the Year Awards recognises the achievements of students from all backgrounds across the country.