Malvern student Freddie overcomes mental health struggles to land outstanding achievement award - The Malvern Observer
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8th Aug, 2022

Malvern student Freddie overcomes mental health struggles to land outstanding achievement award

Ryan Smith 15th Apr, 2022 Updated: 15th Apr, 2022

MALVERN student Freddie Barker said that studying has changed their life after earning a £1,000 academic scholarship award.

The 20-year-old is a third year student undertaking a joint Honours in Film Production and Screenwriting at the University of Worcester.

Freddie, who has been diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder, joined a youth theatre group aged 16 after leaving formal schooling two years earlier due to mental health difficulties.

Freddie discovered a passion for making people laugh, writing two original plays the theatre group performed to an audience.

Freddie went on to complete their GCSEs before joining the University of Worcester.

The award is for outstanding academic achievements in 2020/21.

Freddie said at first they found university overwhelming but it did not take long to make friends and begin achieving, getting an A in their first assignment.

“I feel absolutely honoured to receive this award, especially during a pandemic.

“After missing so much education growing up, university has sparked a new love for learning within me.

“Being given the opportunity to attend higher education has been life-changing.

“I went into university feeling like a nervous, under-qualified teenager burdened by mental illness, and now I feel confident and passionate about everything I do.

“While I still struggle with my health, my identity, and hearing all those voices in my head; I now have an urge to advocate for better media representation for people like me.”

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