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Students Recognised at Awards Ceremony

One hundred and eighty two (182) students from South Eastern Regional College (SERC) were recently recognised at a special ceremony and presentation of their Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award and Gaisce -The President’s Award, achieved through the College over the past year.

Students from Bangor, Downpatrick, Lisburn and Newtownards Campuses, were joined by family, friends, lecturers and support staff, Ken Webb, Principal, and John Nugent, Chair of SERC’s Governing Body, for the presentations which were made by special guests from the Joint Award Initiative, Kate Thompson, Director, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award/Joint Award Initiative in Northern Ireland and Mary Yore, Development Officer, Gaisce – The President’s Award.

Michelle Hickland, Deputy Head of School and Manager for the Award at SERC said, “We are absolutely delighted to recognise our amazing students who have achieved Bronze and Silver Awards.  The achievement is particularly poignant because many of these students have specific barriers to learning and have therefore exceeded personal goals.

“As well as their expedition and volunteering in the community, the students developed skills in furniture restoration, reading, sewing, crochet, knitting, music, sports, model making, photography, candle making and mountain biking.  

She added, “Each recipient of this prestigious Award is helping pave the path for their peers to follow the DofE/Joint Award Initiative at SERC which will greatly benefit all the students who take part.”

A further nine Gold Awards will be presented at the next Gold Award Celebration in Northern Ireland.  

Kate Thompson, Director, The Duke of Edinburgh Award/Joint Award Initiative in Northern Ireland congratulated the students on their success.   She said, “In the last financial year, the volunteering activities undertaken by SERC students working towards their Awards totalled 2,080 hours.  The social value of all this effort is £9,610 – every student should be very proud of this amazing contribution.  Your Awards are an incredible achievement at the best of times, but to have achieved all this during Covid is exceptional and is a true tribute to the tenacity, perseverance, hard work and commitment of the students and the support staff here and the families of all the participants.”

Mary Yore, Development Officer, Gaisce – The President’s Award, also congratulated the students, “Achieving your Awards has taken massive commitment, learning, dedication – or stickability as we say in Gaisce – and of course lots of fun.   We all hope the value of this experience will stay with you as you head toward you next adventure in life.  It makes you part of a very special community who have the joy of a shared Award experience that will open doors and conversations all over the world.”

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