AN INSPIRATIONAL Wirral grandmother is top of her class in car mechanics by winning student of the year.
Mum-of-three Helen Cross is passionate about cars and decided to leave her office job for life as a grease monkey.
She enrolled at college last year and has just completed her IMI (Institute of the Motor Industry), level two in car maintenance and repair with distinction at Wirral Met College.
The 46-year-old was over the moon her hardwork was rewarded by scooping student of the year, beating 18 others from her class for the award.
Course tutor Mike Smith nominated Helen for the accolade which will be presented to her at an awards ceremony in July at the Floral Pavilion.
Helen from Wallasey told the News: “All of my working life has been mostly administration and reception, then before that a full time mum.
“Last year I decided to follow my dream and took the plunge to study car maintenance.
“I love and really enjoy the course, gaining distinctions grades across the board.
“It was a shock when I found out I won student of the year.
“I cannot believe it, I’m looking forward to the ceremony. To achieve going to college, passing my course and winning the award is so fantastic.”
The grandmother to six-month-old Ethan has always been interested in cars as she is a motorsport marshal.
All her children are involved in the car industry somehow – her eldest son Jamie, 28, is a sales manager at a garage; Adam, 22, is a qualified mechanic and Katie, 18, is studying level one in car maintenance.
Helen added: “I have found my niche in car mechanics. My children are very pleased for me, I think we are all following in each other’s footsteps.
“I love it and enjoy going to college. I have set up a Facebook page for students on my course so we can help each other with homework.
“I meet a lot of ladies who would like to study mechanics, I hope this will show them that they can do it.
“I want to encourage others to follow their dream and don’t let anything set them back. It is amazing what you can achieve and I would urge them to just for go it.”
Curriculum leader for engineering at Wirral Met, Dawn Pierce added: “Helen has excelled on the course. She is an absolute pleasure to have and a fantastic ambassador for the college and department.
“She is a really good role model for woman in a male-dominated industry.”