A DAY full of congratulations and celebrations saw more than 100 Swindon College students enjoy graduation with their friends and families.

Cheers and applause filled Steam Museum as graduates enjoyed their moment on stage in front of a crowd of their peers to receive well-deserved degrees.

Louise Reardon, 43, from Stratton was chuffed to bits with her foundation degree in health and social care science.

She said: “I’m very proud of what I accomplished, I never thought it would be possible to get a degree.

“I want to be a good role model for people. I love what I do as a nurse and decided to do a degree to open up more learning opportunities. Now I’ll continue working in my role and take on new responsibilities.”

Nursing graduate Gemma Seal, 26, from North Swindon said: “I’m the first person from my family to get into university so this is a big achievement.

“It’s been challenging but the support from my college and my work at the theatre department in Great Western Hospital has been amazing.

“It was a lot of fun to meet people and further myself.

“I’ve made great friends and a lot of us work at the hospital - some of us are continuing to Oxford Brookes University together.”

Special guests including deputy mayor Gary Perkins dean of humanities and social sciences at Oxford Brookes University David Ellis and the Royal Wootton Bassett town crier took part in the ceremony.

Principal Steve Wain said to the students: “I remember finishing my education and thinking I had finished with learning.

“I was wrong – the one thing I thought I could stop became the most important skill I had. My hope is that learning becomes your superpower, too.”

Civil engineering graduate Rosemary Halpin, 44, from Wroughton works for the borough council’s highways team. She said: “The course was fantastic, it was really fun and enjoyable, I’d recommend that everyone learn more about what inspires them, this degree allowed me to develop my learning and skills.

“I’m so excited and proud to graduate and share this special day with my family.”

Media makeup graduate Emma Browne, 20, from Ferndale, said: “I was a bit nervous but excited. The course was really challenging, in a good way, and really fun. I loved the creativity.”