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19th June 2019

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

Award Winner Group

The glittering ceremony, held on Tuesday 18 June at the Staffordshire County Showground was attended and co-hosted by John Henderson, Chief Executive of Staffordshire County Council.

The event saw 41 different awards presented (including 5 awards from subsidiary company Axia Solutions) for outstanding contributions and successes; including dedicated sixth form and vocational awards, skills & progression awards, cross college awards, apprenticeship achievement and employer recognition awards.

In addition to this, there were a number of special awards, including an award presented by Helen Brookes from Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) to Level 3 Engineering student Rowan Black who competed against fellow students in a competition titled “Engineering & Me”.

Scooping first prize, Rowan will now gain invaluable work experience at HPP’s Brixworth base, where he will work alongside Formula One World Constructor Championship-winning engineers. He also receives £500 and the opportunity to be fast tracked onto a Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains apprenticeship programme. Helen Brookes, Learning & Development Co-ordinator from Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains commented: “It was fantastic to attend the awards ceremony and to present Rowan with his prize in person, I look forward to welcoming him to Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains in July for his work experience in our Assemble & Build Department.”

Special guest, Paralympian Ian Marsden committed time from a busy schedule to attend the ceremony to present Sporting Excellence awards to Olivia Handley and Cameron Sargent. Sportswoman Olivia is an active member of the College’s Academy of Sport and Captain of the Stafford College netball team, she has also represented the College in the Association of Colleges (AoC) Sport West Midlands games. Creative arts student Cameron, who has autism and learning difficulties has thrived during his time at the College, progressing well in all areas of his course. He is an inspirational student who started an international skating career at the age of 12 at a Special Olympics International competition in Austria. Cameron is now topping the Inclusive Skating World Rankings 2019, placed 1st for Ice Dance, 2nd for Pattern Dance and 3rd for Free Skate.

Two students were selected for the prestigious Principal’s Award. They were Rachel Payne aged 17 from Coven, formerly of Wolgarston High School and Nikhil Aggarwal aged 19 from Stafford, formerly of Blessed William Howard Catholic High School.

Rachel has shown a consistently high level of commitment to her study of A Levels and is an active member of the College’s Honours Programme. Predicted to achieve high grades, she has an innate drive to achieve at the highest levels and despite receiving an unconditional university offer, she has remained focused on her studies and is determined to accept a conditional place at the University of Birmingham to study Law.

Nikhil joined Stafford College as a shy but self-motivated student who, from day one, showed a true passion for his studies and determination to succeed. Voted by his peers to become the Class Representative, this led to Nikhil overcoming his communication fears to become student Governor. This role has opened up many opportunities for Nikhil and he has embarked on the opportunity with passion and a desire to make a difference. Nikhil will progress to the University of Manchester in September to study Mathematics.

Commenting on receiving his Special Achievement Award - Performing Arts, Aaron Shelley, aged 20 from Weston said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Stafford College and would recommend it to anyone. Prior to joining the College I had no formal performing arts training, but I am proud to say I have grown in confidence and secured a number of lead roles during my time here, most recently playing the role of Danny Zuko in the end of year production, Grease. Staff have supported me so much, more than words can say, and I am totally overwhelmed to have received an award.”

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 in the businesses and communities in which they live and work.”

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