A MUM-of-nine with another on the way has proved to be a real star during the pandemic, with home-schooling her children while she ensures she furthers her own prospects during lockdown.

Saphron Day has been chosen as the winner of the University of Bolton's first Star of the Semester.

The award recognises outstanding students who have, alongside their studies, focused on career and personal development as part of the Bolton Award, which is designed to give students a head start after graduation.

The 33-year-old, who is studying psychology, psychotherapy and counselling, said: “When I found out I had won it felt amazing to know that my hard work and dedication had been recognised, especially during these unprecedented times.”

Saphron, who lives in Little Hulton, added: “Studying throughout the pandemic has certainly tested my resilience.

“I am a mother to nine, soon to be 10, children, so juggling studies and homeschooling children, along with working part-time to gain valuable experience, has been difficult at times.

“However, doing the Bolton Award has helped me to manage my own self-care, organise my work and helped to keep me focused on where I want to be in the future.”

The university introduced this new additional ‘Star of the Semester’ awarded for one student who has completed the award in a particular semester, and is on top of the certificate of completion for the Bolton Award.

Voting took place to choose a winner from those who completed the award between September and December.

There were 27 students in the running and voting ended on January 8.

Nick Wright, Bolton Award Project Officer, said: “Saphron was nominated for being involved with a huge range of careers activities throughout her studies and attending almost every event that has been hosted by the team.

“This semester, she has chosen to complete the Future Leaders Award and has been a founding member of the Stress Less society, completing the award whilst raising nine children."

The Bolton Award is an extra-curricular employability and enterprise programme that any undergraduate or postgraduate student at the University of Bolton is eligible to complete.

Students must take part in an advice and guidance appointment with the careers service and then carry out a minimum of 15 hours’ work experience and a minimum of 15 hours of enrichment activities.

They also submit their CV, write a reflective statement and participate in a mock interview to demonstrate their professional development. They can start and finish the course at their own pace.

The annual Bolton Award is handed out to specific students during April/May at a special ceremony.