Students Honoured In Glittering Celebration Ceremony
The outstanding achievements of the most exceptional Weston College students and staff from the past year were recognised in the annual Celebration of Success event.
The glittering gala, at DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House, saw 30 awards presented.
Guests, parents and friends were greeted with a welcome drink before sitting down to a three-course meal.
The awards part of the ceremony then took place, acknowledging a variety of students and staff for their achievements and exceeding expectations over the past year.
The event was hosted by Dr Paul Phillips OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College Group, aided by keynote speaker Alex Lovell, the well-known BBC Points West presenter.
She said: “It was a real pleasure to be invited to take part in a ceremony that celebrates success and positivity, at a college that is enviable in its results and recognition.
“The night was all about reminding students that they had worked hard and been noticed for this. It was a great opportunity for everyone to take a moment and be proud of what they had achieved, and think positively towards the future.”
Four award winners weren’t announced until the night, which included three students winning Student of the Year. One of the winning students, Farrah Seyedi, was told by other institutions before she started at Weston College that she could never achieve her goal of going to university and living independently.
However, after coming to the College and receiving support and guidance at the pioneering Weston Bay facility, which specialises in supporting students on the autism spectrum, she is now at Plymouth College of Arts on a Textiles Practice Degree, living independently in halls of residents with her peers.
She said: “When I heard there was an award for Weston Bay I never thought it could be for me, I was speechless.
“I was very proud. I got two awards in one go and I really want to thank everyone that's supported me this year.”
Another great success of the evening was Jordan Tucker, who won IT Student of the Year and was a winner of Student of the Year.
He said: “The support from the College has been great – it’s really helped me to achieve my goal of going to university.”
Jordan, who came to Weston College with little prior knowledge of computing, was awarded the Silver Medal at the National Finals of the WorldSkills Web Development competition.
He was also presented with the Pearsons IT Student of the Year award at the House of Commons, having been selected from thousands of students across the UK.
“I worked really hard outside of my course to develop my skills and progress. The awards tonight were brilliant because I felt like my achievements were being acknowledged.”
Closing the ceremony, Dr Phillips said: “When you get success, care and support you have the foundations to go on to even greater success, and that is what tonight has been about. We at Weston College are supporting our students to achieve this success.”