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OUTSTANDING: Three NSCG students make the AoC’s Student of the Year shortlist

In a remarkable achievement, an incredible THREE students from Newcastle and Stafford Colleges Group (NSCG) have been shortlisted in the Association of Colleges (AoC) prestigious Student of the Year Awards.

Each year, the AoC Student of the Year awards celebrate truly unique students from colleges across England in a bid to highlight outstanding and exceptional individuals and celebrate their achievements, talents and successes and how they positively impact their college and community.

Our shortlisted students put a huge amount of work into their courses and each has enjoyed much success on their individual paths.

Vinny-Lee Brennan, who has been shortlisted as Apprentice of the Year, joined Newcastle College with no formal qualifications having been home schooled during the pandemic. It soon became apparent that exams were no barrier to his success and he went on to excel in his Level 2 Hair apprenticeship, passing functional maths and English also.

The talented hairstylist went on to win a national industry award at the Quintessential (Quif) Centre Stage competition in 2022 and upon completing his apprenticeship in 2023, he opened his first salon at just 18-years-old - the Vinny Brennan Hair Lounge, in Congleton.


Access to HE student, Tammy Luto-Amison has been shortlisted in the Higher Education Student of the Year category as an adult learner.

Tammy has excelled academically throughout her Health Professionals Diploma but it is the positive impact she makes through her work as a community-based domiciliary that is truly inspirational. Supporting local patients who have experienced trauma Tammy goes above and beyond in her role and aims to get as much experience as possible as she works towards realising her ambitions of becoming a paramedic.

In the AQA Project Excellence Award category of the Student of the Year Awards, Gloria Neligwa has been shortlisted for her Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) work surrounding the contentious question, ‘Could it be argued that dehumanisation in medical research and practice has been beneficial?’

Gloria, who studied A Levels at Newcastle College, was also a national finalist in the Cambridge sponsored HE+ research project and recently progressed to study medicine at Cambridge University. Her academic achievements have been remarkable and a successful career in medicine no doubt awaits.


Craig Hodgson, Principal and CEO of NSCG, said: “We are thrilled to have three of our fantastic alumni shortlisted in the Association of Colleges Student of the Year awards.

“These awards shine a light on individuals who have made a significant impact in their college and/or community and we could give hundreds out to the students who make up the NSCG community.

“The shortlisted students who have been recognised for their outstanding contributions in the Student of the Year Awards should be extremely proud of their achievements – we certainly are and we wish them every success for the next stages.”

A judging panel will now select the finalists, runners up and winners with finalists to be announced on 19 October on the AoC’s social media channels. The winners will then be invited to attend a special awards ceremony in London in spring 2024.

As we eagerly await the final results, we extend our heartfelt congratulations to Vinny-Lee, Tammy and Gloria and we wish them all the best of luck in the next stage. Regardless of the results, their achievements are hugely inspiring and are a testament to the hard work, dedication and the progress they have made during their time with us at NSCG.