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22nd June 2018

In a night filled with celebration, reflection, pride and emotion, Stafford College’s second annual Celebration Awards showcased the College, its students, apprentices and employer partners at their very best.

The star-studded ceremony, held on Thursday 21 June 2018 at the Stafford County Showground was attended and co-hosted by Jeremy Lefroy, Member of Parliament for Stafford.

The event saw 35 different awards presented for outstanding contributions and successes; including dedicated sixth form awards, awards for each of the vocational subject areas offered at the College, awards to celebrate success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) related subjects, apprenticeship achievement and employer recognition awards.

In addition to this, a number of special awards were presented, including an award dedicated to Laura Furnival, an ex-Stafford College student who was diagnosed with leukaemia whilst on her HND Sport and Leisure Management course. Laura battled through several treatments and through this very tough time, always had a smile that could light up any room. Sadly, Laura passed away on 21st August 2015 and this special award, in her name, is presented to students who have battled adversity and achieved in their studies. The winner of the Laura Furnival Award, sponsored by ICCA Education Training & Skills Ltd. was ex-King Edward VI High School pupil, Laurence Knott, who experienced personal tragedy in the first year of his course and despite this, his commitment to his education never wavered. Laurence is an exceptional student, who will progress from Stafford College to the British Institute of Modern Musicianship in Birmingham this September.

Commenting on his experience at Stafford College and his award win, Laurence said: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Stafford College, the whole experience has been really positive. I’ve gained skills and knowledge from the experienced teaching staff and the top-class facilities have helped me to achieve to the best of my ability. I’m very proud of myself for not just being nominated to receive this award but actually winning, I’ve put in a lot of effort into my work, both in and outside of the classroom so it feels great to know that this has been recognised.”

The Ian Marsden Awards for Sporting Excellence, sponsored by Ellis Williams Architects, were won by Rebecca Scott and Tom Taylor. Sportswoman Rebecca is a member of the Cannock and Stafford Athletic Club and has competed in her chosen sport of javelin at club, county and international levels. She was recently named “Most Improved Sports Person or the Year” at the Stafford Borough Council Sports Awards. Tom is both an academic student, predicted to achieve D*D*D* in his BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport Science, and an avid sportsman, representing Stafford College in both football and rugby. Tom recently won the County Cup with Stafford Rugby Club and is currently on the radar of professional teams such as Wasps and Worcester Warriors.

Two students were selected for the prestigious Principal’s Award. They were Frances Shephard, formerly of Cardinal Griffin Catholic College and Sam Yeomans, formerly of King Edward VI High School.

Level 3 Bricklaying student, Sam, has represented Stafford College in numerous sector-based skills competitions, most recently being awarded gold medal at the national WorldSkills finals, with Sam being selected to represent the UK team at the international WorldSkills event in Kazan, Russia in 2019.

Throughout her time at the College, Performing Arts student Frances has been a fantastic ambassador, combining high standards of work with many extra-curricular activities, including performing at a multitude of performance events, teaching students through the M3 Company and working as a local Rainbow Pack as a Leader. Longer term, she aims to study at a prestigious conservatoire and has elected to take a gap year to allow her to prepare herself for this exciting progression.

Frances said: “I feel really honoured to receive one of The Principal’s Awards. The whole evening has been such a wonderful experience and it was great to get dressed up and celebrate students’ achievements together with teachers, family and friends. Stafford College is a great place to study at and I’m thankful for everything the College has done to help me prepare for my dream of progressing onto studying at a conservatoire. I’m super excited for the future.”

Karen Dobson, Principal and Chief Executive at Stafford College, said: “We are delighted to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of students, apprentices and employers. Although only a small selection of students are invited to the awards, we are of course proud of the success and achievements of all of our talented, enterprising, determined and caring students who make up our entire college community. Our staff do everything they can to ensure our students thrive and achieve in their studies and ultimately go on to make a positive contribution to the lives of others in the businesses and communities in which they live and work.”

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