IT was celebration time for degree students at Bridgwater and Taunton College’s Taunton Centre as the students marked their graduation.

The joyous ceremony, complete with mortar boards and ceremonial gowns, took place last Friday, October 21, at the Temple Methodist Church.

Each year the college invites alumni and graduates to speak at the awards ceremony.

This year, Shane Griffiths, co-founder of the creative digital workshop The Idea Bureau, and Fran Bradshaw, care manager at Home Instead Senior Care, gave inspirational speeches to the graduates and guests.

Graduate Diana Trigger, BA (Hons) health and social care management, gave a vote of thanks.

She said: “The overarching message I will take from my higher education experience at Somerset College is that, in order to effect change, we must question, we must challenge, we must be critical and we must apply the tenacity we have all displayed in achieving our degrees to improving the lives of those we work with.”

Mike Robbins, principal of Bridgwater and Taunton College, added: “The annual graduation ceremony is a wonderful event where the efforts of our degree students are recognised and applauded by their peers, friends, tutors and families.

“More than 1,000 young people now study higher education programmes with us, and this is set to rise as new degree apprenticeships offer technical, professional and vocational routes to higher level study.

“Our Taunton Centre is widely recognised as a centre of excellence for degree-level programmes, and we look forward to establishing a University Centre Somerset in the very near future.”

Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow attended the ceremony. She said: “I was so proud to attend the ceremony for the students graduating in a wide range of subjects.

This educational achievement will equip them well for the world of work and I wish them all the best with their futures.”

Graduation day also saw the Mayor of Taunton Deane, Vivienne Stock-Williams, in attendance as the degree students celebrated their hard-won achievements.

The guest list also included representatives from Plymouth University, the Open University and Edexcel.