Elle was just 32 when she was forced to retire on medical grounds after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Despite having left school at 15 without qualifications and being in foster care, she went on to gain O-levels, an HND in Fashion and a Diploma in Interior Design. She built a career in interior design while bringing up three children.
After adjusting to life with MS, Elle enrolled at Totton College to take A-levels and then did a degree in Psychology at the University of Southampton. After winning a prize for her undergraduate dissertation, she won a scholarship to complete an MSc and PhD.
Today she teaches adult learners and A-level students at Totton College, and lectures at the University of Southampton and Solent University. She has also influenced her husband and daughter, both of whom have completed Access to HE courses.
“Enrolling to undertake my A-levels was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Not only has the experience been thrilling and rewarding, I also learned that age is not a barrier to achieving academically,” she says.