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Key supporting role: Joanna Croney

Joanna Croney reflects on the family’s support of Lewis – and taking part in the Channel 4 documentary which charted her son’s journey to Trinity.

What role have you played in Lewis’ achievements to date?

My unconditional support throughout his journey so far has been the most important role I’ve had to play as a parent. My mother and sister (Lewis’ Nan and Aunt) and I have nurtured Lewis throughout his education via his home life. And we have helped him make difficult choices along the way, throughout the application process.

We supported him through the natural self-doubt of not making it to Cambridge as results day approached. It’s hard when you have an intelligent child – which I suddenly realised when Lewis started reading me road signs at the age of two – to tell them how brilliant they are, as they never believe you. At that age, Lewis would bring me A4 pieces of paper, wanting more sums, over and over again. But I knew very little about Cambridge until Lewis began to take an interest, and especially with the input from his sixth form.

What traits do you think Lewis has inherited from you that have helped him?

My passion, emotional side and self-belief. I have instilled these traits in him subconsciously since he was little. We spent a lot of time together as I was a single parent.

Why were you willing to take part in the Channel 4 documentary and how did you find the process?

I knew that if the documentary reached and inspired just one extra person from a similar background who wasn’t confident in their abilities, then it would have been worthwhile. I have a rather confident persona and so I found it very easy to be in front of the camera. Professor Green made me feel very relaxed with his questions and good listening. I’ve enjoyed every part of the process from start to finish.

What’s it like having Lewis back home after his first term at Trinity?

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with Lewis on his Christmas break. I came to visit him halfway through term, but it’s not quite the same as having him under the same roof. It’s been difficult to let go of having him around all the time, but it’s getting easier week by week.

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