Beverly Sand Obituary
Beverly Sand, my wife who passed away at the age of 76, will always be remembered as a passionate and fiercely intelligent proponent of expanding access to educational opportunities for those who have been let down by the education system earlier in their lives.
Beverly was born in Barking, Essex, to Bob Sand, a hairdresser and Stella (nee Schneider), an administrative officer. She grew up on the newly developed Harold Hill estate near Romford. Although her family’s roots could be traced back to the Jewish community in London’s East End, Beverly remained fond of the city and its East End.
After graduating from Harold Hill grammar school, Beverly spent a year at the Lycée Français in London before working in Paris for two years. It was in France where she developed a passion for the country. In 1990, she purchased a house in the southwest of France and continued to spend time there each year until her passing.
Upon returning to the United Kingdom, Beverly attended Leicester University where she earned a first-class degree in English and sociology as an adult learner. She went on to teach Access to Higher Education courses for several years at Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun College, becoming a prominent advocate in advocating for such programs throughout the West Midlands. It was at an Access to HE conference in Leamington, Warwickshire in 1987 that Beverly and I first met; we lived together for 35 years before marrying in 2015.
Beverly was part of the team that helped to secure university status for Derbyshire College of Higher Education in 1992. She went on to become dean of lifelong learning at the University of Derby where she established her expertise and reputation for the field. Beverly also became a key figure in the Access to HE and Open College Network movements. In 1993, she became the first professor of lifelong learning in the UK.
Shortly before her retirement from the University of Derby in 2009, Beverly became a magistrate serving several years in Nottingham. She was motivated by a passion to serve her community. Over the past decade, we split our time between Nottingham and London. During this time, Beverly volunteered as a guide at Tate Modern, making full use of the cultural riches of London and rediscovering a love for her hometown.
Beverly was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in August of this year, and her prognosis was untreatable. Knowing that she only had a few months left to live, she made the difficult decision to take her own life. Although her death left me in shock, I am proud to have been married to this courageous and principled woman who always upheld her own impeccable standards. She is survived by me as well as her younger brother, Robin.