A student who slept rough on the streets of Manchester is going to Cambridge University after landing top grades.
Chelsea McCluskey’s life fell apart just months into her A-levels after problems at home forced her to sleep on friends’ couches and spend several terrifying nights on the streets of Manchester city centre.
Despite being a high-flying academic student, the former Wright Robinson College pupil ended up dropping out of lessons at Loreto College in Hulme.
But thanks to the determination of her tutor and the kindness of best friend Leah McNair-Acton the teenager got her life back on track.
Teacher Tony Lyons was convinced Chelsea had a shot of getting into the world’s top university and doggedly tracked her down, persuading her to give college another go.
Two years later, Chelsea has proved tutors right by comfortably winning a place to study psychology at Cambridge’s Murray Edwards College with an outstanding clutch of grades.
Chelsea, who scored 2A* and 2A, said: ‘I couldn’t cope going to college and dropped out. I was sofa-surfing and sleeping rough in the city.
‘I tried to go through a number of agencies but ended up living with my friend and her mum. My tutor was the first to notice that I wasn’t at college and he started to send me emails and ask me to come back.
‘I wasn’t sure at first whether I could pick myself up. Nobody knew how bad it had been for me until I went back.