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Havering College graduates celebrate at Hornchurch ceremony

PUBLISHED: 13:02 12 November 2013 | UPDATED: 13:02 12 November 2013

Karl Haebich balanced work and the birth of his son Joshua whilst studying.

Karl Haebich balanced work and the birth of his son Joshua whilst studying.

Archant

Graduates from Havering College donned their cap and gown as they celebrated their achievements last week.

Samantha Thomas, who received a BA (Hons) in social work and her family, including daughters Nadine and Natasha, who both study at the college.Samantha Thomas, who received a BA (Hons) in social work and her family, including daughters Nadine and Natasha, who both study at the college.

More than 250 students were presented with scrolls at the event, held at the Further and High Education College’s campus in Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch.

Mothers, fathers and workers of all ages achieved degrees, showing you are never too old to learn.

Paralympic athlete and 7/7 terrorist attack survivor Martine Wright was the guest of honour, and delivered an inspirational speech to the 800-strong audience.

Principal Maria Thompson said: “Every student has achieved something very special, often juggling work in the context of a full or part-time job, as well as a busy family life.”

Debra Marsh with husband Derek.Debra Marsh with husband Derek.

Among those celebrating was Karl Haebich, a toolmaker who achieved a first class BEng (Hons) in automotive engineering – which he balanced with ongoing renovation of a house and the arrival of 10-month-old baby Joshua, with partner Clare.

“I want to further my career. I had to sacrifice holidays and Clare has supported me because I have had to shut myself away,” said Karl,

“It has been hard work but it’s definitely been worth it to get a first.”

Mother-of-four Samantha Thomas received a BA (Hons) in social work, cheered on by daughters Nadine and Natasha, who both study at the college.

Siobhan Lloyd with daughter Rebecca, eight, and son Stephen, 10.Siobhan Lloyd with daughter Rebecca, eight, and son Stephen, 10.

“I was a social work assistant before and funded myself to qualify. It was hard work,” said the adult care worker of Rainham.

BA (Hons) graphic design graduate Debra Marsh, of Romford, was delighted to have her dream come true before reaching a birthday milestone later this month.

She said: “It is the fulfilment of an ambition. I got my degree in my forties – just by the skin of my teeth!

“I used to work as a secretary and now I am looking to work in the City for architects or a design company. I cannot praise the college highly enough.”

Siobhan Lloyd, of Hornchurch, was supported by her family as she received her BA (Hons) in education and professional practice.

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