JUGGLING the demands of family life and studying paid off for Helena Condon.
Helena, 32, has just graduated with a BA in literature from the Open University.
Helena, of Stonebridge Walk, Shepley, is among more than 11,500 OU graduates who have qualified this year after studying part-time for six years.
Helena, a clerk, passed up the opportunity to go to university in her teens to start work.
And having a baby halfway through her course gave her little option but to juggle home life with essays.
"My degree was purely for personal interest and it was quite a juggling act," she said.
"A close friend who I studied with died last year, so I am graduating for both of us."
* Support from family and her employer also helped Newsome woman Karen Thewlis obtain her BSc degree from the OU.
Karen, 29, of Newsome Road South, joined in 1999, with the financial support of her employer, Albion Colours, of Halifax.
Karen is an applications technologist, testing paper dyes.
She said: "It needs a lot of motivation and I wouldn't have got through without the support of my family. I've been an absolute nightmare to live with."
Other local people to receive OU degrees include Tony Ruttle, 53, of Trinity Street, Huddersfield.
Mr Ruttle, a production engineer, left school at 15 with no qualifications. At 47, he decided to take an MSc course in manufacturing, management and technology.
* Leonard Oliver, 70, of Dryclough Road, Beaumont Park. He began studying during his retirement and has received a BSc (hons).
* Mrs Gurdish Sandhu, 51, of The Crest, Bradley, has received a master's degree in business administration after three years' study. She is the collection development manager at Salford University's library.