Former Public Services Students Inspire the Next Generation - Bridgwater & Taunton College

During Induction Week, seven former students who are now employed in the emergency services as police officers, firefighters and paramedics, returned to College to meet students starting uniformed public services courses.

The new students asked a lot of interesting questions and had a very interactive experience as they found out about application processes and life in the emergency services. PC Antonia Wickham said that she found College a challenge due to having dyspraxia and dyslexic, but that she was well supported by her tutors and has been in the Avon and Somerset Police for three years.

Firefighter Lili Ibbotson won the prestigious Silver Axe for best recruit when she joined the Fire and Rescue Service, and both her and Firefighter Owen Cheffey hold down full-time jobs as well as being on-call firefighters. They both wish to become full-time members of the crew and are looking forward to long careers within the service.

Paramedic Star Hancock left College and worked as a dispatcher for Avon and Somerset Police before joining the ambulance service, while Paramedic Ellis Pearce joined straight from College. Devon Venner starts his career with Avon and Somerset Police this week where he will join Antonia in Bridgwater. PC Chris Lee has been a police officer since March and loves his role policing the streets of Taunton.

Ruth Burrows, Course Leader for Level 3 Extended Diploma in Uniformed Public Services, said, “It was a delight to be reunited with my ex-students. I’m so proud of them and the journey they have made to reach their goals.” She also said, “The experience of introducing previous students to my current cohort was inspiring. The new students were really excited to meet emergency service workers who are only a few years older than them and had completed the same course.”

Chris Lee, Lili Ibbotson, Owen Cheffey, Ellis Pearce and Star Hancock were members of the College’s 999 Academy and all agree that this helped them enormously with their applications and appointments.

If you are interested in applying for one of our Public Services courses, please click here or email

© 2020 Bridgwater & Taunton College, Bath Road, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 4PZ, United Kingdom | Terms / Privacy / Cookies | Accessibility Made by Wave