Yeovil College University Centre welcomed students to Westland’s Entertainment Centre to celebrate the success of over 100 Yeovil College University Centre students at their Graduation Ceremony. For the first time, students from the BSc Social work, HND in Policing and Degree Apprenticeship in Business Administration, were conferred.  

On Thursday 1st December, the Yeovil College University Centre hosted the Graduation Ceremony for the graduating academic class of 2022. Not only was it a fantastic opportunity to celebrate with the graduating class but also an opportunity to recognise several outstanding students who received awards.  


Friends, family, local employers and community partners, including guest speaker Councillor David Woan and Chair of the Yeovil College Corporation, Peter Thomas, were joined by representatives from the University of Gloucestershire, the Mayor of Yeovil, Councillor Evie Potts-Jones, and local Councillors to witness over 100 students graduate from a wide range of qualifications.   


Qualifications recognised during the ceremony included Honours Degrees, Foundation Degrees, Diplomas, Degree Apprenticeships, Professional Certificates and Postgraduate qualifications. Several subject areas were conferred including Media, Photography, Graphic Design, Business, Childhood Studies, Healthcare, Engineering, Computing and Sport. For the first time, students from the BSc Social Work, HND in Policing and Degree Apprenticeship in Business Administration, were conferred.  


Alongside the formal Graduation, Yeovil College University Centre also recognised a select number of students award winners; presented to students who had notably gone above and beyond, achieving academic excellence during their time at Yeovil College University Centre. The awards were judged by an independent judging panel who took all evidence into consideration. The winners of the prestigious awards were as follows: 

  • Harry Livingstone Award for Management Excellence – Saphron Gafney 
  • The Wayne Minter Award for Engineering Excellence – Cameron Bell 
  • Outstanding Trainee Teacher or Sports Coach Award – Sandra Ling 
  • Creative Industries Outstanding Achievement Award – Abbey Alderwick  
  • Outstanding Health, Social Work and Childcare Professional Award – Carly Dunn


The student speaker for the afternoon, Abbey Alderwick, gave an inspirational speech about her personal journey throughout her time studying at Yeovil College University Centre. Abbey said:  

“I have been studying at Yeovil College University Centre for the past 2 years on the FdA Photography course. Studying here has been an amazing experience as I have been able to develop my photography skills both creatively and professionally throughout the various modules and practical workshops.  

The past two years have been very unpredictable to say the least, as we all know Covid wasn’t easy for anyone, but especially for all of us students moving into full-time Higher Education. 

The support that I had from the lecturers within the Creative Industries department was second to none within these uncertain times. They were attentive when I needed advice, and I can’t thank them all enough for this as I was able to create work that I was very proud of, and my grades reflected this.” 


Mark Bolton, Principal & CEO of Yeovil College said:  

“We believe that the right university-level education opens doors and changes lives. We work tirelessly with our local business community to ensure what we deliver, how and when we deliver it, hits the mark to create a more capable and prosperous community for the benefit of all. We see our graduates secure their dream jobs and careers every year, inspiring us and their peers to be the best we can. I love what it does for our learners.” 


Councillor David Woan said:  

…you do not know where life will take you.  Nothing is a given, and you can be blown off course unexpectedly at any time.  Everything changes, every single day.  As well as challenges, every day will present opportunity. Keep your eyes and ears open.  If you spot something, just go for it and try it.  If it works; great.  If it doesn’t work out, you’ll hopefully know to do something different next time the same thing comes around.  There is no worse feeling I know than when I think “if only I had.”  Sure; you’ll feel the challenges life will throw at you every day.  There will be pushbacks and crises.  But if you can keep focused on what you’re good at and what drives you, and keep believing in yourself, it is surprising how many of the opportunities you choose to go for, seem to turn out OK.” 


The Graduation Ceremony concluded with a celebratory gathering of friends and family and an opportunity to catch up with former classmates and to officially say goodbye to one another.  


The Graduation Ceremony was dedicated to Yeovil College University Centre student Sharon Hampson. She was a wonderful member of the YCUC community who sadly passed away. Sharon’s energy, commitment to her studies as well as her thoughtfulness and care for others touched the college community. Her eldest daughter Laura collected the certificate which showcased how much Sharon had achieved during her time at the University Centre. At the ceremony, collection boxes were in place to raise money for St Margaret’s Hospice.  


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