FIVE mature students from Taunton have earned first class degrees from the University of Worcester.

Lisa Snowdon-Carr, 44, Carrie Burland, 42, Claire Rogerson, 39, Gill Hacker, 40, and Alex Appleby, 27, will graduate at Worcester Cathedral in November after completing their studies via Somerset Centred Initial Teacher Training.

l Lisa, who studied professional practice (children’s services) said: “I’m proud to show my daughter – and the young people I work with – that learning occurs throughout all aspects of your life and at any age.”

l Carrie said: “I faced similar challenges to most mature students – working full-time, getting married, renovating our home, having a baby and seeing my teenage daughter through her GCSEs.”

l Claire, a former Bishop Fox’s School student, said: “As the first person in my family to undertake a degree I am extremely proud to have earned a first, something I did not envisage when I embarked on the course three years ago, having been out of formal education for many years.”

l Gill, who studied professional practice (early years), said: “With juggling work, study and being a parent I was hoping just to pass so was thrilled with my result.”

l Alex, who hopes to become a PE teacher, said: “I had to make many sacrifices in my life and had to regularly remind myself why I was making them. I’m delighted that all of these sacrifices were justified in the end.”