Student 'blessed and lucky' after UEA prevents her from becoming homeless

UEA PhD student Plum Bristow has thanked the university, church and friends for looking after her since her strangement

UEA PhD student Plum Bristow has thanked the university as well as her church and friends for looking after her - Credit: Plum Bristow

A PhD student and mum-of-two has thanked her university after it stepped in to prevent her from having to sofa surf.

Plum Bristow, 45, found herself in a position where she would need to stay with friends before the University of East Anglia (UEA) intervened.

Plum said she feels "blessed, privileged, fundamentally lucky and grateful" to have been offered support by the university, as well as her church - Proclaimers in Roundtree Way.

Proclaimers Church Norwich pastor Denise Rawls - affectionately known in the community as Mamma Bear

Plum Bristow (left) with Proclaimers Church Norwich pastor Denise Rawls - affectionately known in the community as Mamma Bear - Credit: Plum Bristow

Plum was originally put up by a fellow mature student at UEA so she wouldn't become homeless, before UEA's emergency services swept in and put her in temporary accommodation before moving her into permeant postgraduate digs.

Plum said: "This has given me the opportunity to think about what I have got.

"I'm finding the experience of talking to friends and my church enables my healing process.

"I want to honour the way that the university and my church has supported me.

Plum is also part of a Pride Choir, which has supported her through her journey

Plum is also part of a Pride Choir, which has supported her through her journey - Credit: Plum Bristow

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"I have people in my life who love me, who value and care for me.

"I feel very blessed and lucky to have people in my life who are so loving and wonderful."

Plum's 12-year-old twin sons Daniel and Thomas - who suffer from a rare form of spinal muscular atrophy - currently live with their dad.

She hopes that her current living situation will move her one step closer to having her sons visit for overnight stays so she can see them more often.

Plum added: "They're cheeky and adorable.

"Obviously my dream in the future is to have somewhere where I can put them to bed properly."

Dr Jon Sharp, director of student services at UEA, said: "It’s always pleasing to hear that a student feels they received the care they needed from us at a difficult time and we would encourage Plum to continue to contact our student services team should she ever need any further support."