Raven family graduation
Three members of the same Hereford family have graduated from the University of Worcester on the same day.
Jenny Raven earned a Master’s degree in Advancing Practice (Advanced Clinical Practice), while her husband, Steve, and son, Ollie, both achieved Foundation Degrees in Paramedic Science.
They were among more than 3,800 students who graduated from the University this year, and were watched by daughter Alice, 20, as they collected their certificates during a ceremony at Worcester Cathedral.
“To graduate together is really very special and a unique opportunity, one that I think is very rare to do,” said Jenny, 49. “As a parent I’d be here for Ollie, anyway, as a proud mum, but to also know that I’m here as a proud wife and celebrating my own achievement as well is fantastic.”
Jenny completed her Master’s part-time over three years, alongside her work as an Occupational Therapist. Steve, 48, returned to the University some 20 years after qualifying as a teacher. He completed a Technician to Paramedic training course with the University and West Midlands Ambulance Service, alongside 23-year-old son, Ollie.
“I was at Worcester 20 years ago doing a teaching degree and I was impressed with it then so to come back to Worcester with all the changes, the new facilities and expanded environment it’s still a great place to learn,” said Steve.
Jenny added: “It had been a number of years since I completed my training as an Occupational Therapist so coming back into university life was quite difficult, managing that alongside working at the same time, but the University and lecturers have been very supportive. They know how to work with a range of students.”
They each praised each other’s achievements. “I’m very proud of Ollie,” said Jenny. “It’s a career that requires a lot of hard work, a lot of commitment. And I’m very proud of Steve for changing careers. He’s made a change and he loves it.”
Steve added: “You’ve got to have pride in the fact that your family is achieving something. It’s never too late to change or to advance yourself.”
Jenny now plans to progress the research she did during her Master’s and will continue working as an Occupational Therapist.
Ollie, who now lives in Halesowen, and Steve are both working as paramedics for West Midlands Ambulance Service.
Steve said he had seen his son in action when they have found themselves working together occasionally on shifts since finishing their studies. “It’s a bit odd,” said Steve. “When you work with someone else you obviously refer to them by their name. I’m used to him saying ‘dad’, so it’s a bit odd when your son is saying ‘Steve’. But it’s been good fun and I recognise his skills. It’s nice to actually stand right next to somebody and see them put their skills into action. To be in the room when he’s doing that, I’m a bit in awe of him, but don’t tell him that!”