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The Corporation

Posted: 28/06/11

College’s best are celebrated at glittering awards ceremony

More than 50 West Nottinghamshire College students took to the stage for a glittering celebration of their efforts and achievements.

The Celebration of Achievement event, held on Friday evening (24 June) at Mansfield Civic Centre, saw students from each curriculum area recognised for achievements over and above their studies, for overcoming adversity and for being truly outstanding.

They were presented with certificates and awards by principal and chief executive Asha Khemka OBE after being nominated by their tutors for special recognition. 

The Apprentice of the Year Award went to NVQ level 3 painting and decorating James Evans, 21, who has twice represented the college in the national SkillBuild competitions, aimed at finding Britain’s best construction trainees. 

James came first in the recent senior competition and will represent the Midlands at the national finals in Leeds later this year.  James also bagged the Principal’s Special Recognition Award on Friday evening.

Seventeen-year-old Samantha Stirland received a new accolade, the Community Hero Award, for helping save the life of a pensioner who collapsed after falling into a diabetic coma.

Samantha, who has completed her level 1 BTEC diploma in health and social care, was out walking with her friend, Katie Hutcheon, when they discovered 73-year-old Graham Wood with severe head injuries.  After dialling 999, Samantha directed the ambulance to the scene while Katie remained with Mr Wood, who was just 15 minutes from death.  The girls then assisted the paramedics.

The Adult Learner Award was presented to Claire Jerkow, 39, for achieving success in her higher education studies despite suffering many personal traumas in her life.  

Outstanding Achievement awards went to:

·  Somkhit Khiansuk, 35, for her exceptional work ethic and desire to learn on her ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) course – her first experience of education having missed out on studying in her homeland of Thailand.

·  Anthony Hornby, 19, for his dedication in attending the college’s BAY6 Centre for students with disabilities and learning difficulties, travelling from his home in Berkshire each Monday to develop his verbal, social and practical skills.

·  Amy Metcalfe, 20, for mentoring and supporting fellow students on the NVQ level 3 professional cookery course.

·  Jodie Whitemore, 18, an advanced hairdressing apprentices, for achieving the level 1 and level 2 diploma despite having no previous qualifications. 

·  Mark Dowthwaite, 20, for producing exceptional work on the foundation degree in business management course and a high-quality research project for a local company, despite suffering health problems.

Mrs Khemka said: “This event proved, once again, that we have some truly remarkable, ambitious and talented students at our college.”

“They’ve demonstrated to their tutors, families and most of all themselves that they have the ability and willpower to succeed, no matter what challenges they face.  The audience was truly inspired by their stories of determination and endeavour and as principal I felt especially proud.

“I wish them all a successful and rewarding future, whether they are returning to college for further study or embarking on an exciting new career.”

Also attending the event were the students’ family, friends, tutors and college governors Nigel Quinton and David Overton.

Caption for group photograph:  back row (l-r) Samantha Stirland, James Evans, Asha Khemka OBE, Anthony Hornby, Claire Jurkow.  Front row (l-r) Jodie Whitemore, Amy Metcalfe and Somkhit Khiansuk