Award winning Lotty uses support experience to begin new career as occupational therapist

Award winning Lotty uses support experience to begin new career as occupational therapist

A married mother-of-three has used her experience of supporting people with acquired brain injuries to carve out a new career as an occupational therapist after graduating from the University of Cumbria.

And it is a double celebration for 48-year-old Lotty Romaniszyn, who lives in Belah, Carlisle.

Not only has Lotty been celebrating her MSc in Occupational Therapy from the University of Cumbria at this week’s graduation ceremonies, she has also named postgraduate student of the year by leaders of its Department of Health, Psychology and Social Studies.

Lotty was a neurotherapy support worker on Orkney in Scotland, helping people with acquired brain injuries and patients who had suffered strokes.

She moved to Carlisle two years ago to embark on the masters course which is headed up by programme lead by Susie Wilson. Lotty was one of 23 celebrating their MSc Occupational Therapy academic awards at Carlisle Cathedral on Tuesday.

Lotty, who was accompanied by her husband Paul, said: “I was in Orkney. My children were leaving home for university themselves and I decided this was my time, my choice. I've always worked in health and social care in a variety of roles and wanted to do this.”

On her time at the University of Cumbria, Lotty – who is now a Band 5 occupational therapist at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven – said: “Funding and bursaries were a great support and I really enjoyed the course, particularly how it focused on mutual support and the classroom approach of small group learning.

“For me that was pivotal and meant that the University of Cumbria was very accessible. The library service staff were absolutely excellent too.”

MSc Occupational Therapy programme leader Susie Wilson said: “Lotty has achieved exceptional marks and she got distinctions in every piece of work she submitted. That’s getting over 70 per cent in every piece of work. She was very committed academically and was great while on placement.”

The University of Cumbria’s MSc Occupational Therapy course is a two-year full-time accelerated programme in which students must also complete 1,000 hours of practice placement to become a registered occupational therapist.