Pupils praised for effort and achievements

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Students from the Chad district were among 60 West Nottinghamshire College pupils who took to the stage for a glittering celebration of their efforts and achievements at its Derby Road campus.

They were presented with awards by principal and chief executive Dame Asha Khemka at the college’s annual celebration of achievement after being nominated by their tutors for special recognition.

Three principal’s student of the year awards were presented at this year’s event along with five other prestigious accolades.

One of the principal’s student of the year awards went to 19-year-old Elizabeth Findlay who is studying the BTEC diploma in construction and the built environment.

Elizabeth was nominated for her commitment to the course and always giving above and beyond of what is expected of her – which is reflected in her distinction grades.

She said: “I’ve found college an amazing experience. My tutor has really supported me and I can’t thank her enough and I’ve got another year at college left.

“I’m currently a trainee architect designer so hopefully I can pursue that.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard that I’d won an award – I’m so proud!”

The special recognition award was presented to Samuel Bispham.

The 21-year-old has just completed the level three diploma in construction and the built environment and started studying at the college back in 2009.

Samuel is currently a trainee site manager for construction firm Keepmoat and he’s going to Sheffield Hallam University in September to study project management in construction.

He said: “To receive the award was very unexpected. It’s been a great evening and it’s a wonderful way to thank the students.

“I’ve been at college seven years in total and I’ve enjoyed every moment.”

The Aaron Britt memorial award was presented to eighteen-year-old BTEC level three extended diploma IT student Callum Key.

The award was presented to him by Sue and Dave Britt, parents of Aaron, who sadly died in a road accident on Derby Road in 2011.

This special memorial award remembers the computer science student whose creative, enthusiastic personality will be remembered by staff and students at the college.

Dame Asha Khemka said: “What an amazing journey our students have had.

“Each one of the award-winners came with their own story of determination, achievement and pride.

“We heard many stories of success which shows me how much education is continually transforming people’s lives.

“Education gives new skills, second chances, opportunities and friendships.

“I was very proud to be able to talk to so many of the students and their families as well as tutors and employers to get an insight into their individual stories.”

Honoured guest at the celebration was High Sheriff of Nottingham, Judy Naake. Judy inspired guests with her entrepreneurial story. Judy, originally from Nottingham, achieved business success with well-known tanning product St Tropez and told guests of how she built up her business from humble beginnings to a world-wide enterprise.

Also presenting awards were representatives from sponsoring companies which included McGregors Corporate, Eversheds, Linney Group, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Skanska, Wildgoose Construction, Francesco Group, Browne Jacobson, KPMG and the Inspire and Achieve Foundation.