An incredible six students from Central Sussex College were recently honoured for their outstanding academic and personal achievement against the odds, at the annual FE Sussex Spring Awards.
The event celebrated achievements in academic and vocational education and training, with twelve of Sussex’s Further Education Colleges all nominating students for the thirteen awards.
Central Sussex College students stole the show, collecting awards in six out of the thirteen categories, including four winners and two runners-up – more than any other college!
Central Sussex College Winners
n Victoria Jenkins, from Crawley was named the winner of the ‘BTEC Learner of the Year’ category sponsored by Pearson. Victoria joined the College in 2012 and despite facing mental health issues, achieved top grades in her Health and Social Care course and astonished fellow students and staff when she completed five months’ worth of work in just one week to ‘Distinction’ standard. Victoria hopes to use her experiences to help others and has applied to study at Greenwich University to become a Paramedic. Head of Studies for Health, Care and Service Industries, Angela Riddell says that “Victoria has shown immense character to be able to cope with all that life has thrown at her and continues to amaze me with her consistent effort and passion to achieve in her college work. Things could have turned out so differently for Victoria, but through her diligence and determination she has a fantastic future ahead for her.”
n Peter McCleery, from Ardingly won the ‘Pearson Award for Most Improved Learner’. Peter first came to the College enrolled on the Life and Working Skills course, after spending most of his time in education within special needs schools. The jump into further education was initially difficult for Peter who has autism, among other educational needs, but he flourished at the College and progressed quickly, being the first student ever to go from Life and Work Skills to a Level 3 BTEC in just one jump.
Peter currently enjoys studying Level 3 BTEC in IT and has impressed tutors with his dedication and determination. Alongside his course, he also takes part in work experience at a local company. Senior Learning Support Assistant, Tracey Reed commented, “Peter has found new confidence in his time here at Central Sussex College and that is reflected in his demeanour. He contributes well to all class discussions and is self-assured in his interactions with staff and students. He now has some real plans for his future, which he has realised will be well within his reach.”
n Jodie Batchelor, from Haywards Heath was awarded ‘Hospitality Student of the Year’ sponsored by Hilton Brighton Metropole. Jodie impressed the judges with her dedication and enthusiasm for hospitality. During her time at the College, Jodie worked full-time at the Courtyard, Marriott, first as an apprentice, before progressing to Food and Beverage Team Leader. She continuously achieved top grades despite working long hours alongside her course.
n Kyle Sinclair, from Redhill was named ‘NCFE Learner of the Year’ for his incredible progress and dedication to his studies. Kyle joined Central Sussex College after receiving a lack of support from another training provider. Since starting the College, Kyle’s confidence and English language skills have improved tremendously. He is now a frequent contributor in class discussions and has found the confidence to pursue his love of travel and tourism. Kyle’s tutor, Amy Bacon commented, “Kyle has had some difficulties in his education but has shown excellent commitment since joining the Essential Skills course in September 2014. He is always willing to work hard in lessons and has already been accepted, onto Level 1 Travel and Tourism for next year. As his tutor, I regularly hear positive things about his work and willingness to help others.”
Central Sussex College Runners-up
n Emma Herbert, from Haywards Heath was awarded runner-up in the ‘City and Guilds Sussex Learner Making the Most Progress’ category. Emma originally started at the College on a day release programme through her school. After giving birth to her son, Emma decided to pursue her love of hair and beauty and start building a good future for her child. Emma initially found the transition from secondary school to college challenging and struggled to keep on top of her work. Towards the end of the course she realised that she needed to knuckle down and began to take her coursework more seriously, completing assignments ahead of deadlines and managing her time more effectively. Now enrolled on the Level 3 course, Emma is more confident in every aspect of the theory and practical, and feels confident in pursuing her dream career.
Beauty lecturer, Gayle Rice commented, “As her tutor last year I recognised she had the confidence and ability to succeed, but just needed guidance and encouragement to reach her potential, which she has in her Level 3 NVQ Beauty studies this year. I am very pleased with her maturity and attitude to the course, despite the challenges she faces as a young mum. Her aim now is to progress onward to apply for a Degree in Spa Management at university.”
n Kirsty Smith, from Burgess Hill, was chosen as the runner-up for the ‘City and Guilds Learner of the Year’ award. Kirsty came to the College full of enthusiasm for her course but lacked the self-confidence to flourish. Whilst studying a Level 2 course in Hairdressing, Kirsty underwent reconstruction surgery on her jaw. Both her upper and lower jaws were broken and reset and Kirsty spent months in recovery. Despite being in agony, Kirsty remained undeterred and continued with her studies, achieving a ‘Merit’ overall. Kirsty has since progressed onto the Level 3 course and has developed new levels of confidence. Her experience has given her a positive outlook and an increased love of hairdressing.
Lecturer in Hair, Lindsey James, commented “Kirsty has been at Central Sussex College since 2011 and has achieved exceptionally on every course to high standards. I have been very impressed with her skills and attitude to learning, and I know Kirsty is going to be fantastic in the hairdressing industry and is proving this every day.”
Each winner and runner-up received a trophy, certificate and gift vouchers.
Report and pictures contributed by Central Sussex College.