Inspiring Wicken student Rob nominated for YOPEY award

Ron Norman, from Wicken

Ron Norman, from Wicken - Credit: Archant

A STUDENT from Wicken who overcame crippling anxiety to fulfil his dreams of going to university and has inspired others suffering with the same condition has been nominated for an award.

Rob Norman, who studies at Cambridge Regional College, has been nominated for Ferrier Pearce Young People of the Year award (YOPEY).

Rob, 21, of Drury Lane, Wicken, was put forward for by Eleanor Port-Burke, a mental health adviser to the college for the way that he had overcome adversity, saying that his life and attitude had been transformed over the last two years.

Rob started at the college as a catering student, but suffered with acute anxiety, which affected most aspects of his life.

Eleanor said that when she first met Rob he was among the most anxious students she had ever seen. He was very quiet, kept himself to himself and was afraid to mix. He was even prone to panic attacks.

She counselled him and he started to get his life back on track.

As counselling progressed, Rob identified that his true passion was illustration and games design, but due to his anxiety had never pursued this.

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With his confidence growing, Rob decided to take greater control of his future and to switch to one in games design at the college, which because of his age he had to pay for.

Rob paid for his studies by working part-time as a sous-chef at a local restaurant. He now aims to be a success in the games industry and has won a place to study at Brunel University.

Eleanor said: “Rob has done the hard work. He is self-motivated and disciplined and he has stuck with his goals.”

Eleanor added that Rob had been an informal mentor to other students and to work colleagues. ”He has not only changed his own life, but others as well.”

For more details and to to nominate logon to or write enclosing an SAE, to YOPEY, Woodfarm Cottage, Bury Road, Stradishall, Newmarket CB8 8YN,for paper entry form. Entries close on July 31.