STAFF and students at Havering College have saluted a group of former learners who are making big strides in their careers in the uniformed services.
Police, Fire, Ambulance, Army, and the Prison Service are just some of the public service organisations which Havering College students are now working for.
Fourteen former students who successfully completed Public Services courses returned to the Havering College Quarles Campus to inspire the next generation of learners at a special careers day.
They are: Senior Ambulance Care Assistant Sophie Taylorson; Metropolitan Police Recruit Jack Wood; Special Constable Sam Gilder; Special Constable Amie Harrington; Special Constable and Metropolitan Police Recruit Brett Cooley; Special Constable Jack Wheeler; Havering College Public Services tutor and Special Constable Vince Street; Metropolitan Police Officer Bill Briley; Firefighter Terry Latham; Prison Officer James Gilham; Metropolitan Police Officer (probation) Elle Hills; Royal Marine Michael Watts; former Army Communications Specialist and Metropolitan Police Officer Matt Vine; Metropolitan Police Officer Steve Davenport and London Fire Brigade Youth Engagement Officer Stevie Clifford-Tucker.
They returned to talk to current students about their day-to-day experiences in their chosen jobs and were joined by representatives from London Fire Brigade and the Armed Services.
Pc Bill Briley came to Havering College after completing his GCSEs at Kingswood School - now Drapers Academy in Harold Hill.
He said: "Every day as a police officer is different. Most days you come away with the feeling that you have really contributed and done something worthwhile and made a difference. I love it just as much as I did in my first year."
Royal Marine Michael Watts said: "I didn't take school that seriously but I decided to go for the best of the best and be a Royal Marine. The Public Services course at Havering College gave me a hand, a push – it was pre-training if you like. I learned navigation and got my English and Maths at college because I did not get them at school. It gave me an advantage on top of everyone else."
"Being in the Marines is hands on and strenuous. It's the hardest training in the world. The Royal Marines do a lot of travelling and I have just came back from Norway."
Mark Brooks – curriculum manager for Public Services - said: "We are very proud of our former students who have come back to the college to talk to our current Public Services students. They are great role models and really helped to motivate and inspire them."
Zoe Walker, 18, second year BTEC Level 3 Public Services student said: "I want to be a police officer and so this day is very informative. I have just applied to the Met Police Specials and the college are helping me prepare for that interview. They are very supportive."
James Sayers, 16, from Dagenham, "I am enjoying the Public Services Day. I am in my first year and so I want to do another year at college and then join the army. I want to be part of the Bomb Disposal squad."