NEW Mayor Jenny Andrews went back to college at 40 to finish her GCSEs - and will extol the importance of education during her year as first citizen.
Cllr Andrews (pictured) had been inspired back to class by a social worker and eight years later completed a masters in mental health nursing.
She said: “Education has changed my life and given me aspirations. Never did I dream I would one day become Mayor of Rotherham.
“I started out in various office and factory jobs while caring for my parents, and during my journey I was inspired by a really supportive social worker to go back to college to get my English GCSE.
“I stayed on to do my A-levels, which eventually led me to studying for a degree and a masters.
“I am looking forward to spending my time as Rotherham’s first citizen going out and meeting people from all over the town to see how they go the extra mile to support our communities.”
She added: “The path of life has really built up to this moment.”
Cllr Andrews was the first female chair of Maltby Town Council and becomes the first woman from Maltby to be the Mayor of Rotherham.
She has chosen long-time friend and Cllr Jeanette Mallinder, a Dinnington ward member, as Mayoress - and the self-proclaimed “community girls” aim to be out and about across the borough as much as possible.
The pair have chosen three main charities to support during their year in office - Rotherham Hospice, Shiloh and Rotherham United Community Support Trust.
Cllr Andrews said: “We’re really keen to demonstrate how people can help others through volunteering, so we’re planning on a day or two of volunteering at a hospice charity shop.
“It’s wonderful to make such a difference to people, especially starting so late in life and as a woman, I hope my story inspires others by showing it’s never too late to achieve what you want to do.
“Studying and becoming a councillor have both been outside of my comfort zone. I was terrified of public speaking.
“But the more you take on these challenges and succeed, the more confidence you get, and the more you want to tackle issues.”
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