Weston College celebrates success!
The outstanding achievements of Weston College students, staff and business associates were honoured this week (4th November), at a glamourous ceremony held at the Winter Gardens, Weston-super-mare.
The ‘Celebration of Success’ was a chance for the hundreds of guests attending to hear remarkable personal stories from across all sectors of the College.
Parents, friends and business guests were treated to a three-course meal cooked under the direction of Andrew Walker, executive chef at Chartwells – the leading provider of catering and support services to the UK education sector.
The event was hosted by Dr Paul Phillips, Weston College’s Principal and Chief Executive, who unveiled the awards with the assistance of guest speaker Nicki Chapman – music industry insider, former judge on ITV’s ‘Pop Idol’ and now popular BBC television and radio presenter.
She said: “This is one of the most outstanding colleges in the UK. I left school at 16 and did not go to university. If I had had the opportunities that Weston College gives people today, it would have given me such a leg-up in my career.”
One of the night’s biggest success stories was Amanda Hunter, who won the Access to Higher Education Student of the Year award.
"Being at Weston College has been one of the best experiences of my life,” she said. “The staff have been brilliant and really supportive, setting me up very well for university life."
Amanda returned to education after several years away, with the aim of going to university in the hope of eventually working in a children's ward.
"I am now studying at the University of the West of England, and it's all thanks to Weston College.
"If you have always dreamed of going to university but think you have missed your chance, I would say it's never too late; Weston College has helped me do it, and can do it for you, too."
Other winners included Alex Tucker, who studied Contemporary Art and Professional Studies BA (Hons) in partnership with Bath Spa University and won a Higher Education award at the event.
“Words cannot come close to describing what Weston College has done for me,” he said. “I am so grateful.”
Alex graduated in June and has recently sold his artwork for in excess of £40,000. Owners of his art include the Stone Roses and Banksy.
“I would not like to think where I would be now if I had not come here; Weston College has saved me.”
Both GKN Aerospace and Ipeco Composites won the Business of the Year award. Paul Ashbee, Training and Development Manager at GKN, said: "The whole evening was really good! I attend awards across the UK, but I thought tonight had a real personal touch that emphasises just how much the staff and the learners really enjoy the learning process."
Martin Napper, Chief Executive of the event’s main sponsor Castletan Group, said: “It was a superb evening, and really inspiring. I was taken aback by the degree of skill and talent in Weston, and we want that talent to work with us!”
Dr Phillips said: “The awards presented tonight are testament to the success of the ethos which permeates throughout the College, of putting the student at the heart of everything we do and strive to do.
“Our students thrive in such an environment and that’s why recognising and celebrating their successes gives me such a strong sense of satisfaction and pride.”
For more photos of the event visit the College’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/westoncollege.