Burnley woman Justine is just ‘inspirational’

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A Burnley woman born with a genetic condition that has led to the degeneration of her eyesight has scooped a college award for “The Most Inspirational Person”.

Justine Raith, who has very limited vision, was presented with the accolade at the EyeCan Awards 2015, held by Galloway’s, the Society for the Blind.

The 37-year-old, who grew up in Burnley, is studying BA (Hons) Fine Art (Integrated Media) at Blackburn College.

Not only has Justine had to battle with her eyesight, but grew up in the care system, frequently moving foster parents and also schools which meant she left with no qualifications.

When she started at Blackburn College, studying a Level 3 Art and Design Foundation Diploma, Justine had to learn to read and write again with determination and support from the college.

After the exceptional work she produced during the Level 3 course, she was immediately accepted onto the Fine Art degree.

The college say that Justine is now an ambassador to other disabled and mature students. Justine was nominated for the award by her partner Roger Livesey.

Justine, who now lives in Bamber Bridge, said: “Being awarded the Most Inspirational Person Award was great – it was the last award of the evening to be announced and I had no idea that it was going to be me receiving it.

“I’ve really enjoyed learning different skills and meeting new people on the course. It’s great to have lots of people taking an interest in my work.”