Bradford College’s annual Festival of Achievement Awards Evening was held in the Sir Henry Mitchell Hall, to mark the achievements and pay tribute to Further Education students at the College.
Special guests included: Denise Faulconbridge, Education Bradford; Jane Glaister and Cindy Peek, Bradford Council, Trevor Mason, Aspire-i, Jenny Cryer, Prospect Services and College Directors.
Chair of Corporation, Mr Richard Wightman was delighted to open the Further Education Awards Evening, before handing over to Principal, Michele Sutton, who addressed the audience. In part of her speech Michele told the audience: “Welcome to the Further Education Awards Evening, where we are here to celebrate the achievements of all of our students and in particular those who have been nominated for awards.”
Michele went on to outline how Further Education had been the key to her impressive and successful career to date. Michele explained: “I have been working in Further Education for nearly 30 years. I started as a teacher and 11 years ago became a Principal. I have now been Principal and Chief Executive of Bradford College since August 2004.”
Paying tribute to the award winners during the presentation ceremony, Michele said: “To all of our award winners I wish you many congratulations on your success. I know that you have all worked hard. I am sure that in years to come we will keep in touch with you and you will also be a hero and an ambassador for Bradford College. So – well done, congratulations on your achievement and good luck with wherever your career takes you in the future. Meanwhile we are all very proud of you and hope that you really enjoyed this evening.”
Chair of Corporation, Mr Richard Wightman and Principal Michele Sutton, OBE, went on to present students with their award certificate, gift token and commemorative pen. Ten specially selected exceptional winners were also presented with cheques for £50.
Bradford College Assistant Directors, Julie Hinchliffe and Chris Roberts were the Masters of Ceremonies at the memorable event, reading through the list of award winners, Julie and Chris outlined why each award winner had been nominated.
Awards were presented for the following categories: Excellence within the Curriculum, Determination and Progress, Essential Skills, Contribution to the College Community, Contribution to the Bradford Community, Employee of the Year, Adult Achievement, Young Person Achievement and Exceptional Student.
Students spoke of their delight at been honoured at the Awards Ceremony. Find out what they had to say…
Matthew Denton scooped a Determination and Progress Award for the second consecutive year. This is in stark contrast to Matthew’s humble educational beginnings. He left school with no GCSE’s and has since gone on to excel at Bradford College – achieving one of the highest ever GCSE results for a student! In September 2009 Mathew returned to the College to start an AS in Mathematics and is predicted an excellent grade. Matthew commenting on being nominated for the second consecutive year said: “I’m flattered and extremely grateful for the award.
Matthew intends to go on to become a Primary School Teacher to help young people succeed. Matthew explained: “I want to teach children who are dyslexic. I’d like to make it better for them somehow.” Matthew has Asperger, which is a mild form of Autism and has overcome difficulties to become the exceptional student we know today.
Matthew was accompanied to the event by friends Hayley and Martin. Speaking at the Awards Evening Hayley said: “He’s a great guy and deserves this award.”
Martin smiled and added: “We’re really proud of him!”
Michelle Brady and Phillipa Brigg were nominated by Jemma Marshall for their responsible, reliable and confident approach to their work as Student Ambassadors.
Jem Marshall commenting on these exceptional students said: “Michelle and Phillipa are extremely enthusiastic about College life – they’re great students and should be very proud of what they’ve achieved.”
Michelle said: “I was quite surprised to be nominated – but I think it’s lovely of Gem to nominate us – and to have our achievements noticed.”
Before Phillipa went up to collect her award she said: “I’m quite scared about getting on stage. Phillipa smiled and added: “I feel shocked and honoured to have been nominated.”
Performing Arts Student, Richard Orange, was nominated by his lecturer, Damien O’Keeffe for a Determination and Progress Award. Richard didn’t have a good experience at school and came to College on a Level 1 programme progressing onto the First Diploma in Performing Arts. With hard work, determination and some cajoling, he built his confidence and performed in public for the first time. On completion of the First Diploma he went on to the National Diploma. Once again his determination, hard work and commitment have helped him to build his levels of skill and confidence. He took part in several productions in his first year and has become a key member of the cohort.
Commenting on Richard’s great achievement Lecturer, Damien O’Keeffe said: “Richard’s personal journey should be an inspiration to anyone who believes in transforming their education and opportunities.”
Faiza Parveen scooped an award for Excellence in the Curriculum. Dedicated Faiza arrived in England in 2009 after being educated in Pakistan and Spain. Speaking Punjabi, Urdu and Spanish Faiza went on to achieve the highest score in her communications class despite only having taken English classes whilst living and studying in Spain. Scoring highly in communication skills, she went on to achieve distinctions on her Health and Social Care course and displayed high levels of motivation and diligence.
Faiza was delighted to attend the ceremony to accept her award. Fazia said: “I feel proud and shocked to have been nominated for this award. I didn’t expect to be nominated, but I’m extremely grateful.”
Faiza’s tutor, Michael Wong nominated her and said: “Faiza is pleasant and sociable – she gets on well with her classmates and is a joy to teach.”
Nominated by Tutor Sue Sandall for a Determination and Progress Award, Katie Murphy said: “I feel like I’ve achieved more than I expected. Juggling childcare commitments with study makes things a lot harder.”
Having completed a First Diploma, Katie embarked on her true passion for Interior Design and enrolled on the National Diploma in Art & Design – 3D Interior Design course. Towards the end of the first year she found out she was pregnant, however, this did not stop her determination to work hard towards her dream. On returning to College for her second year, she has worked extremely hard, she is always on time, contributes positively in group tutorials and always produces twice as much work as her peers. She goes home each day to look after her son and commits 3-4 hours for college work. Katie also revealed at the Award Ceremony that she is now expecting her second child. Katie said: “Having children has made me even more determined to succeed. I push myself even more for my children as well as for myself.”
Katie added: “I feel blessed to have been nominated this evening.”
Katie’s boyfriend watched as Katie took to the stage to accept her award. Andy said: “I feel very proud. She wasn’t going to come back to College at all.”
Katie explained: “My parents were apprehensive about me returning to study. I believed in myself - and didn’t let it stand in my way.”
Louis, Katie’s 4 year old son was excited to attend the event and said: “I’m proud of my mummy!”
Nominated for the Adult Achievement Award, Saeeda Begum is an inspiration to all. Saeeda suffered a brain tumour and stroke some years ago and has spent many years house bound. Saeeda’s ability to read and write has been affected along with her sight. She enrolled at College in 2008 and embarked on a long journey to undertake an ESOL course. She has made slow and steady progress, passing her Level 1 Skills for Life Speaking exam and has worked hard towards her reading, writing, IT and Maths qualifications. She remains optimistic and completes all the homework on time, despite missing some classes due to frequent hospital and doctors appointments.
Louise Beacroft scooped an Award for Determination and Progress. Speaking at the event Louise said: “I feel very honoured that I’ve been put forward for this award by my tutor. I’m just really happy to be here… it’s a really positive experience!”
This shy and quiet student first enrolled onto a level 2 childcare course and Deloitte Employability Skills programme. Lacking in confidence and struggling to interact with her class this student was determined to work hard and quickly blossomed into an assertive and positive young person.”
Louise’s grandfather accompanied her to accept the award. Speaking at the Awards Evening he said: “I’m over the moon! Anything any of my grandchildren achieve is special… it’s something any parent or grandparent would be really proud of – and I am!”