Dagenham mother-daughter duo studying at same college

Kelly Hibbin (right) with daughter Lauren Gardner. Picture: BADC

Kelly Hibbin (right) with daughter Lauren Gardner. Picture: BADC - Credit: BADC

A mother and daughter from Dagenaham found themselves studying at the same college.

Kelly Hibbin, 46, left school thirty years ago with a few GCSEs. She jumped straight into work before starting a family.

One morning in 2011 her eldest daughter, then aged 13, woke up unable to move.

She was diagnosed with hypermobility syndrome, meaning her joints are more flexible than normal, with her younger sister Lauren Gardner later developing the same condition.

After many difficult years filled with non-stop hospital appointments, Kelly watched her daughters flourish.


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Inspired by her family’s social worker, she enrolled in a related course at Barking and Dagenham College — sharing a campus with Lauren, 19, who was studying for an apprenticeship.

Kelly is now heading to University of East London (UEL) for a degree in social work.

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“When I was at school I just couldn’t be bothered, whereas now I’m older, I really appreciate the value of education,” she said.

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