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MP hears inspiring stories from students during #LoveOurColleges week

Local MP Julia Lopez visited College on Friday to hear inspiring stories from students about how Havering Sixth Form is helping to shape their lives.

The meeting, part of the #LoveOurColleges campaign, brought together current and former students, governors, staff and Principal Paul Wakeling, to share the reasons why they believe government funding for colleges should be increased.

Paul said: “We have called the meeting today because I think it is important to celebrate the work that we do and to raise the profile of colleges in the minds of everyone, including MPs. We fulfil the hopes and ambitions of students every year – and the students here today are a testament to that.”

Former student Ethan Gates, 20, attended the meeting and spoke about how the college instilled in him self-motivation and self-directed learning. He is now a self-made entrepreneur who has a thriving radio station business based in the West Midlands.

Ethan said: “The lessons and skills I learned at college were invaluable and will help me for the rest of my life. Without the direction and the opportunities I was given at college, I wouldn’t be where I am now with my own business.”

Another former student, Storm Stanley, who is studying Psychology with Business at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “College gave me a sense of purpose and direction and I now have a passion for education.”

Governor and local councillor, Keith Darvill, said: “I am incredibly proud of the college today. I am so inspired by what I have heard from current and former students. It is clear that it should be a priority of any government to be funding colleges. The more of us who advocate that funding is so important, the better.”

Conservative MP Julia, who represents Hornchurch & Upminster, said: “I am fully behind your campaign. It would be short-sighted of any government not to value this sector of the economy. Colleges are training and educating the people who will make our country dynamic and fit for the 21st Century.”  

Havering Sixth Form College staff and students embarked on a week of action to support the #LoveOurColleges campaign with social media posts, emails to MPs, videos of students saying what they love about the college and a prize draw with a chance to win a £50 LovetoShop voucher.

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Discover what some of our students go on to achieve once they leave us on our Where Are They Now? page