A LEVEL year is not easy for any student but it has been especially demanding for Skie Hewitt.

Not only has she been studying for her A-levels, she has also had to take time out of college to train with her new guide dog, Lucy.

Skie, 17, was born with glaucoma and is registered blind.

Glaucoma is a condition which causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve and gets worse over time.

It’s often linked to a build-up of pressure inside the eye and the condition tends to be inherited.

Skie, from Colchester, cannot see in one eye and what she can see in the other is mostly colour.

However, despite the challenges caused by her blindness, she achieved the impressive results of a distinction star, A* and two As having studied Biology, English language, Health and Social Care and Psychology.

The revision process was tough but Skie said she had her own unique ways of studying.

She said: “I have a lot of large print resources and find using flash cards easier than pages of notes.

“I am trying to do more things electronically now.

“I was also able to have extra time in my exams.

“I haven’t let this get in the way and I am going to Cambridge University hopefully to study Psychology, which is what I got the A* in, so that’s reassuring.”

Skie said her guide dog Lucy was a huge help to giving her independence even though she had to take a couple of weeks out of her college studies to train with her.

It was tough having to balance the training with her studies but Skie said Lucy had become a reliable companion.

Skie said: “It was a bit stressful making sure Lucy was doing what she needs to be doing but I was quite shocked really.

“I have only had her since April.

“We qualified from training at the end of April.”

Lucy went along with Skie and her family to Colchester Sixth Form College when she collected her results.

She also joined in with the celebrations and even posed for photographs with other students.

The pair are now off to start their new adventure together at the prestigious university in Cambridge.