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Chef cooks himself a treat at graduation ceremony

Academics doffing their caps to UCLan vice chancellor Gerry Kelleher  and, below,  former chef turned academic Lloyd Gemson

Academics doffing their caps to UCLan vice chancellor Gerry Kelleher and, below, former chef turned academic Lloyd Gemson

Around 1,500 students were joined on stage by six honorary fellows at the prestigious Winter Degree and Award Ceremonies in the Guild Hall.

The highly-acclaimed professionals receiving Honorary Awards were food historian Ivan Day; architect Stephen Hodder MBE and retired paramedic Adrian Conboy. Professor Mary Kellett, John Mellor-Clark and Trevor Mather.

Among those graduating was a former chef who sold his business to pursue his dream of becoming a clinical psychologist.

Lloyd Gemson from New Longton did an MSc in health psychology while working as an assistant psychologist in pain management for Blackpool NHS Foundation Trust.

The 33-year-old made a life-changing decision in 2006 when he decided to swap running the Yew Tree Inn pub in Walton-Le-Dale for university to fulfil his ambition to become a clinical psychologist.

Lloyd said: “I was sat at home and just reached for the phone book, found a clinical psychologist and rang them to ask what route they had taken to get there. I wrote down what they said and have followed that path ever since.”

He initially studied at night school while working as a chef before enrolling onto a psychology degree at UCLan in 2008.

After graduating with a first-class honours degree he secured a year-long job working for the NHS in Surrey before returning to Preston to complete his Masters. Lloyd is now applying to start a Doctorate next year which will lead him to his final goal.

His wife Jackie is expecting their first baby soon.

He added: “I can’t wait for the baby to arrive, I think it will be a very exciting 2014. When I look back over the last eight years it’s hard to believe I’ve achieved so much and it makes all of the hard work and 5am study sessions worthwhile.”

 

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