Students Staff

08 July 2016

MS-UK Chief Executive to receive Alumna of the Year Award at Graduation 2016

The University of Essex has named MS-UK Chief Executive Amy Woolf as its Alumna of the Year for her commitment to challenging preconceptions.

Since 2014 Amy has played a leading role at the national charity, which is based in Colchester and is dedicated to helping people affected by multiple sclerosis to make the most of today and live life to the full.

Throughout her career she has dedicated her life to improving the lives of others and wants to inspire more people to do the same. She will receive her award during at the graduation ceremony for the Department of History at the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus on Thursday 14 July.

She said it is “a great honour” to receive recognition at Graduation 2016 and added: “My time at the University of Essex was a great opportunity for me to learn about society and culture and the importance of empowering the most disadvantaged to take control and make positive changes to their lives.”

Amy completed her BA Social and Cultural History in 2006 and took on a role at Coram Children’s Legal Centre. She quickly worked her way up through the charity becoming manager of the Child Law Advice Line and under Amy’s leadership the service provided free legal advice in family, child and education law to more than 120,000 parents and carers each year.

Now as CEO of MS-UK her role includes overseeing the charity’s national Helpline, a bi-monthly magazine, New Pathways, which has subscribers across the world, and in Essex, Josephs Court, a wellness centre enabling people affected by MS to take control in managing their condition and maintaining their independence.

Since joining MS-UK, Amy has worked to ensure MS-UK remains true to its values. MS-UK empowers people to make their own choices, not be afraid to discuss taboos and challenge accepted beliefs and actions – something she says she learnt a lot about at Essex.

Studying history at Essex provided inspirational examples of people battling for their point of view to be recognised: “My favourite memories of being at Essex were of spending evenings reading and researching the original petitions written by women in Early Modern England who at the time were fighting for their voices to be heard and effect positive changes to their lives and those of their families.

“I would often go in to the library in the day and find that after being engrossed in their petitions it was then dark outside.”

So what advice would Amy give graduating students today?
“I would advise students graduating this year to be brave,” she said. “Choose the opportunities that are right for you and don’t be afraid to start over again until you find something you are passionate about – then you will find where you belong and truly thrive.”

...more news releases