A woman from Ham who lost her daughter on Mother's Day has been chosen to front a campaign on how studying can transform lives.

The life-changing learning campaign, led by the Open University, tells the stories of real people whose lives and careers have been changed through part-time study, after a range of events in their personal lives.

Caroline Thatcher, 43, is one of the students featured in the campaign and tells how she lost her 17-year-old daughter Tania to a fatal heart condition on Mother's Day in 2012.

Tania suffered from a rare condition in which the arteries between her heart and brain were twisted and caused her to have a haemorrhage and stroke.

Although initially told she would survive, her condition was later deemed to be critical. Her life support machine was switched off on Mother's Day three years ago and her organs were donated to a man in his 40s, a woman in her 30s and a small child.

In memory of her daughter, Ms Thatcher, of Lawrence Road, has taken on a new path and is pursuing a foundation degree in business management and leadership at the Open University and hopes to set up a charitable environment for struggling families facing similar situations.

She said: "This respite would be in the form of an environment families can visit during the day with counsellors on site, therapeutic activities and a petting zoo, that sort of thing - it’s really about quality time more than anything.

"I found after Tania went, upon reflection, I spent so much time concentrating on work, I kind of took our time for granted at times. I want for others to be able to step back and enjoy each other’s company."

Ms Thatcher added she had previously spent time thinking about studying and was proud she had gained the courage to take the plunge and hoped she would be able to make a difference to the lives of others.

She said: "Depending on times of the year, emotionally managing myself can be difficult too, but I’m very fortunate to have the support of my partner Gary and also the flexible learning structure of the Open University."