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Campaigner receives top award


An author and campaigner for women's empowerment has received an honorary degree from the University of Wolverhampton.

Joan Blaney CBE was recognised for her work with recreational charities and her commitment to educating and empowering women.

She was presented with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Education at a graduation ceremony on Tuesday, 17 September 2019.

Joan, a graduate of the University, said: "I am delighted to receive this Honorary Doctorate from the University of Wolverhampton. This is my home city.  I went to school here and was greatly influenced by my parents and teachers who taught me the importance of a good education. 

"As my Alma Mater of 33 years ago I am thrilled to be back here, to be part of this grand occasion and would like to thank the Board of Governors and the Academic Board for honouring me in this way.  We must continue to work towards raising the levels of education for all our students.  For my part, and with this honour, I shall remain focused on my work to empower women through education and skills and to help motivate and inspire them to play a fuller part in all aspects of our society."

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Joan moved to England and studied at the Wolverhampton Polytechnic, which is now the University.

Joan was a nurse and lecturer in the region, before taking on senior positions in public and private sectors. She established a number of voluntary and community organisations for young people and women in the UK and Africa.

Joan's books, Hidden Lights and From Kitchen Sink to Boardroom Table, both capture women's triumph over adversity in extraordinary situations.

She is also the author of a series of children's books on health literacy.

She has won many awards, including a CBE by Her Majesty the Queen in 2002 for her outstanding contribution to community development.

Honorary awards are presented by the University of Wolverhampton to people who have made a significant contribution to their field of expertise. 

The University's graduation ceremonies take place at the Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, from Thursday, 12 September to Friday, 20 September 2019.

For information about courses to study at the University, visit:

Further information

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: Tuesday, 17 September 2019

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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