A teenage girl who grew up in poverty and had no space to do her homework has been offered a place at Oxford.
Thamima shared a cramped council house with her parents and three siblings which was so overcrowded she struggled to do her schoolwork.
But the youngster was determined to educate her way out of the poverty trap and has been rewarded by being offered a place at one of Britain’s top universities.
Thamima, 17, was born and bred in Poplar and Limehouse in east London – the area in the UK with the highest level of child poverty.
Her story comes after the Mirror launched our Give Me Five campaign in a bid to end the scourge of child poverty in the UK.
“We’ve been on the waiting list for a bigger house for seven years and it hasn’t worked out. It’s a similar situation for lots of families here who have been on the list for years and years because there is such a shortage of housing,” she said.
Thamima said she aims to educate her way out of poverty but it can be a struggle for other children living in a similar situation.
“I applied for a £400 education maintenance grant last year which helped me to buy stationary and text books” she said.
“It has now been axed and that’s a slap on the face for poorer students.
“For some it’s make or break if they can’t afford to go into higher education. If you don’t have the money to buy your text books when you get to do your A-levels that makes a massive difference and puts you at a disadvantage.
“It’s the small things that can make a difference. I didn’t have a desk that I could sit at and do my homework, there just wasn’t that space.”