21st June 2019
In a night filled with celebration, reflection, pride and emotion, Newcastle College’s annual Celebration Awards once again showcased the College, its students, apprentices and employer partners at their very best.
The glittering ceremony, held on Thursday 20 June at the College’s £5.5 million Performing Arts Centre saw 39 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, skills & progression awards, cross college awards, apprenticeship achievement and employer recognition awards.
Former Celebration Award winner, Newcastle College alumnus Stephen Goldspink, Managing Director – Customer Services, Siemens Smart Infrastructure joined Newcastle College Principal, Karen Dobson OBE to make the award presentations.
Special guests also included Stoke City legends Terry Conroy and Ricardo Fuller, who were joined by Robert Banks, son of the late Gordon Banks OBE who kindly presented the Sporting Excellence awards named after his late father.
Throughout the evening a number of special awards were presented, including an award dedicated to Ellen Anderson, an ex-Newcastle College and Staffordshire University student, who had her own challenges to overcome in order to succeed and a Fellowship Award dedicated to illustrious alumni who have gone on to excel in their field of work. The winner of the Ellen Anderson award was Robbie Nicholls, who joined the College on a Level 1 Performing Arts programme. A student with Asperger’s, Robbie has faced numerous communication and anxiety issues, but has really found his true passion in acting and in finding this passion, his confidence has grown massively. He is set to achieve distinction grades in his course and will progress to a Level 4 Performing Arts course at Newcastle College in September.
The 2019 Fellowship Award was presented to award winning editorial illustrator, Bill Bragg. Former Alleyne’s Academy pupil, Bill studied a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Newcastle College in the late 1990’s, before progressing to Central St Martins in London and the Royal College of Art. His commissions have included high profile work for the BBC, The New Yorker Magazine, The Guardian and Faber and Faber. Bill maintains contact with former tutors at the College and has returned to open our college exhibition and share insights with new generations of students.
Following a moving video tribute to friend of the College, Gordon Banks OBE, The Gordon Banks Awards for Sporting Excellence, sponsored by Stoke City FC, were presented to Beth Roberts and Lauren Cadwgan. Former Wolstanton High School pupil Beth Roberts is a vital part of the AGFA Ladies team as well as being an English Colleges Football Association (ECFA) England International and Stoke City FC ladies player. Beth was named ‘player of the tournament’ at the ECFA Il Cacio E’Rosa 2019 tournament in Italy and Stoke City FC ladies ‘Player’s Player of the Season’ in the Club’s annual end of season awards.
Former Madeley High School pupil Lauren Cadwgan has been a dedicated NSCG Academy of Sport athlete. Lauren is Captain of the triple award winning NSCG ladies’ volleyball team and was voted by her teammates as ‘Player of the Season’. Lauren is an outstanding sportsperson and will progress onto the University of Birmingham to continue her studies.
Speaking of her time at the College, Lauren, aged 18 from Madeley said: “Achieving both a team and an individual award has really topped off what has been a phenomenal year for me. I feel privileged to have captained the most successful ladies’ volleyball team ever to represent NSCG and I am so proud of the team and the awesome journey we’ve been on. My time at Newcastle College has been amazing and I’m looking forward to new adventures when I progress to The University of Birmingham later this year.”
Two students were selected for the prestigious Principal’s Award, sponsored by Keele University. They were Rebecca Walton, formerly of Endon High School and Freya Whittington, formerly of University Academy Kidsgrove.
Rebecca has been an exceptional role model during her time at the college. She has strong academic skills and a huge commitment to her studies to achieve her career goals. Rebecca has been very proactive in seeking out work experience and she has a good ability to relate classroom learning into practical applications. She hopes to progress to the Royal Veterinary College in the autumn.
Health and Social Care student, Freya is an outstanding volunteer. Assisting at various open events and acting as a peer mentor in the Health and Social Care department, she also volunteers at a local scout group when she is not at college. Predicted to achieve D*D*D* grades despite recent surgery, she has secured a place on a competitive Children’s Nursing course at the University of Manchester.
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.”