From education to employment


Two dedicated and motivational students celebrated their hard work and achievements at AoC’s annual Student of The Year Awards.

Madeleine Elleby from Alton College and Will Doswell from HSDC Havant were both winners in their categories at the prestigious ceremony on Tuesday 14 November 2023, which was attended by students and educational professionals from across the nation.

The annual Association of Colleges’ Student of the Year awards celebrate students who stand out from the crowd and have gone above and beyond, whether in college or their local community and HSDC were overjoyed to celebrate two winners on the night.

Mike Gaston, HSDC Principal, and Chief Executive, who was in attendance at the event said:

“The AoC Student of the Year awards celebrate truly unique students from colleges across England who deserve recognition and will go on to inspire others. The awards show the fantastic work that students are doing in colleges, as well as the lengths colleges like HSDC, go to support their students.

It was a doubly proud moment when not one but two students from HSDC walked off with two of the Awards.

Madeleine, who studied on our Alton Campus, was awarded the AoC Adult Student of the Year award for her remarkable dedication, resilience, and motivation during her time at Alton College. Despite a number of challenges, Madeline’s hard work, determination, and drive shone through, resulting in a well-deserved award.

Will who studied on our Havant Campus and was part of the Student Union, was awarded the Student Green Commitment Award for his outstanding work and passion for environmental sustainability. During his time at college, Will has been at the forefront of raising awareness for important topics such as recycling and the cycle-to-college scheme. Will was also invited to speak in front of several hundred delegates about the importance of listening to the learner voice when tackling climate change.

Both students demonstrated incredible focus, passion, and drive in their respective categories. I was extremely proud to share the moment with Madeline and Will and their loved ones on receiving these national awards. They are both well-deserved winners in their categories and this is a real celebration of what further education is all about. Passion, innovation and realising dreams. They both have exciting futures ahead. Congratulations to them and indeed all nominated students.”

Corrienne Peasgood, President of the Association of Colleges, said:

“Each year the level of applications is extremely high, and it goes to show the fantastic work that students are doing in colleges as well as the lengths colleges go to support their students. Well done to Madeleine and Will on winning you, should be extremely proud.” 

Suki Dhesi, Vice Principal – Students, Learning & Quality added:

“I am absolutely thrilled and so proud of our students for standing out from the crowd and being noticed for their extraordinary achievements. Both of the winners will make life better for others, and both will make a difference for future generations. Thank you so much Will and Maddy for giving 100% in all that you do!”

For more on the winners and runners up, visit here.

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