Award Winners with Principal Lee Probert.
Students, staff and supporters of City of Bristol College gathered to celebrate students’ successes during its first Student Awards Evening held at the College’s South Bristol Skills Academy in Hengrove.
The event which was hosted by Paris Troy from Heart Breakfast Show and supported by companies including Accent, Bristol Post, Brunelcare, City Restaurant, Heart FM, KISS Radio, SWAC, and Wattle, as well as the College’s own catering and floristry students, saw the winners in the following categories:
Academic Excellence Award – Under 19s
Academic Excellence Award – Adults
Effort and Determination Award – Under 19s
Joel England; Jessica Lewis
Effort and Determination Award – Adults
Stacey White; James Penn
Contribution to the Community Award – Under 19s
Contribution to the Community Award – Adults
Contribution to College Life Award – Under 19s
Contribution to College Life Award – Adults
Apprentice of the Year Award – Under 19s
Apprentice of the Year Award – Adults
Progression Award – Under 19s
Progression Award – Adults
Early College Award
Employer Partner of the Year Award
Children’s Scrapstore and Artrageous Arts and Crafts
Sophie Hendy; Mathew Hughes
Students, families and friends, and College staff were truly delighted with the recognition the winners achieved on the night.
Mathew Hughes, who is studying Vehicle Body Repair Level Two, and is the winner of Contribution to the Community Award and Adults and Principal’s Award, had a tough start to his college life due to his socialisation difficulties but has taken on great strides to develop these skills and thrive in a college environment. Despite these limitations, he frequently challenged himself to step out of this comfort zone and volunteer for roles that require meeting new people and speaking in the public. He commented: “I have really come out of my shell; I was so worried about my future before starting at the College. If it wasn’t for my family and my learning coach, I wouldn’t be where I was. I am due to start a Supported Internship in September, and never in a million years did I see myself getting this.”
Stephen Robertson, key note speaker and the Director of Hargreaves Lansdown plc, Timpsons and Chairman, Retail Economics and Visiting Professor, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, said: “My great weakness was that I never had any self-confidence to do anything, but that all changed when I was asked the life changing question, ‘What would you do if you could not fail?’. I learnt that failure, though never fun, is so important to self-development, so dive in, and invent your future.”
Stacey White, Level One Hairdresser, student and winner of the Effort and Determination Award for Adults, achieved her award as a result of juggling a busy home life with seven children, battling her own dyslexia and despite it completing her course eight weeks ahead of the schedule. She said: “It has meant everything to win this whilst caring for seven children. I view my tutor so highly and have received a supreme amount of guidance and support from her. I am progressing onto Level Two Hairdressing and feel overwhelmed.”
Rama Azkoul, Art and Design Foundation Level Three, and the winner of the Star Award who captures her experience of life in the Syrian Civil War through sculptures which each contain an inspiration aphorism translated from Arabic, commented: “I thoroughly enjoy my course. My tutor truly supported me throughout my College life, always knowing I could achieve a very high degree. I did my absolute best and feel very privileged to start university come September.”
Principal Lee Probert concluded: “City of Bristol College is a large and diverse community made up of thousands of students, with a wide range of backgrounds. Our awards ceremony this week was an opportunity to celebrate the academic achievement of students. Alongside the academic successes, I have been both privileged and inspired to hear the individual stories of our students and apprentices who have been determined that any barrier to their learning, will be set aside.
In restating our core values, we decided that 'Pride' should be a college value. These awards make me and the whole college community feel pride in our students and proud of all of the people who contribute to their success.”
To see images from last night's Awards Ceremony, click here.