Record level of degrees

City honours: Last year's ceremonies saw students and lecturers take to the streets
City honours: Last year's ceremonies saw students and lecturers take to the streets
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More students than ever before celebrate their university qualifications in style

The streets of Preston will be bustling this week as the city’s university honours a record number of graduates.

Around 4,600 students from the University of Central Lancashire will be donning their academic caps and gowns for degree and award ceremonies.

They will be joined by family and friends at 10 different awards ceremonies being staged at the Guild Hall throughout the week.

The university traditionally hands out honorary fellowships during graduation week and this year two highly-acclaimed professionals from will also receive the accolades in recognition of their contribution to the community.

Margaret O’Donoghue, St Catherine’s Hospice founder and creator of Preston’s Cancer Help, will receive her award on Monday afternoon and Chris Kenny, Chief Fire Officer for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, will take to the stage on Thursday.

Longridge-born Margaret is well known for her work as a founder member of St Catherine’s Hospice and CEOof Cancer Help in Preston.

She trained asa nurse at the former Preston Royal Infirmary and, after qualifying, garnered a number of specialist qualifications and wide-ranging experience of oncological practice and cancer care. After playing a lead role in setting up the Lostock Hall hospice in 1981, Margaret later became chairman of the board. That same decade she set up Cancer Help (Preston) Ltd and in 1990 she created Community Cancer Centre in Vine House.

Chris Kenny’s career in the fire service started out as a gap year but he loved the job so much he turned down a chance to study biology at university.

He started out with Merseyside Fire Service but came to Lancashire to enrol on UCLan’s fire engineering degree then went on to become one ofthe first officers in the country to use academic qualifications, coupled with technical experience, to attain chartered engineer status.

He has since done a masters degree at UCLan.