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Cambridge Regional College Construction student shortlisted in AoC Awards

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In 2018, at the age of 15, Haydn Garrod was involved in a collision with a motor vehicle while riding his bike. The incident resulted in Haydn suffering a catastrophic brain injury that required emergency surgery. After a long period of rehabilitation, and having missed the opportunity to sit his GCSE’s, Haydn returned to education at Cambridge Regional College on the entry level Construction course, studying Functional Skills English and maths alongside

The Introduction to Construction course provided the opportunity for Haydn to explore a variety of different trade specific areas including Brickwork, Painting and Decorating, Plumbing, Electrical and Carpentry and Haydn worked extremely hard in all areas, discovering a passion for Carpentry. This year, Haydn has returned to CRC to complete his Level 1 Carpentry and dreams of completing an apprenticeship and starting up his own business creating bespoke kitchens and furniture.  

The Introduction to Construction course provided the opportunity for Haydn to explore a variety of different trade specific areas including Brickwork, Painting and Decorating, Plumbing, Electrical and Carpentry and Haydn worked extremely hard in all areas, discovering a passion for Carpentry. This year, Haydn has returned to CRC to complete his Level 1 Carpentry and dreams of completing an apprenticeship and starting up his own business creating bespoke kitchens and furniture.  

Haydn said, “The thing I enjoy about Carpentry is how hands-on and technical it is. It gets me thinking. I really enjoy being in the workshops and like to head there after lessons to gain as much experience as I can.”

The last three years have been very the challenging for Haydn, and in spite of all that he has been through, he has proved to be a key member of the Construction department. Haydn spent every spare moment in the workshops, and during lockdown completed his practical work at home where possible. With support from his tutors, Functional Skills Team Leader and Learning Support Mentor, Haydn has exceeded all expectations achieving Distinctions in his Construction assignments, passing his English and maths and winning a prize in a college Creative Writing competition. As a result of this hard work and consistency, Haydn was awarded Learner of the Year for his course in the CRC Festival of Achievement 2021, with the Head of Department, Paul Lacey commenting, “This is well deserved, and a fantastic achievement.” In addition to the progress Haydn made within college, he also took on part-time paid employment with a local company in his spare time.

Deputy Head of Construction and Motor Vehicle, Chris Styles said,

“Haydn has had a fantastic year within the Construction department. He is hardworking and is always pushing himself to achieve the best outcomes. Whenever I see Haydn around college, he tells me the new skills he has learnt. I am pleased he is staying in the department and progressing onto Level 1 Carpentry & Joinery, which has always been his ambition.”

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At the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, Haydn was nominated for the Association of Colleges, Young Student of the Year Award by the CRC staff team that have supported him. Following a shortlisting round in September 2021, Haydn received the exciting news that he is one of 6 students to have reached the final from entries submitted by colleges around the UK. The winner will be announced early 2022. 

Haydn added, “Being shortlisted for this award feels good. When I first sustained my injuries I thought to myself, ‘That’s it. What am I going to do now?’, but I feel excited for the future. I can now see a way forward.”

Although Haydn is registered as partially sighted and still has ongoing difficulties with his speech, physically he has almost made a complete recovery. Haydn has demonstrated that even in the most challenging of times, dreams and aspirations can be achieved. 

Outside of his education, Haydn has harnessed his experience to bring about change for others by taking on fundraising missions for both The Children’s Trust and the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Haydn has also launched a petition to make cycle helmets mandatory for under 16’s. Haydn’s charity work and campaigning resulted in him being nominated and subsequently shortlisted in the Cambridgeshire Live Young Heroes 2021. 

Haydn concluded, “If you are thinking of coming to CRC, or even if you are already enrolled, don’t waste what you dream of becoming. With hard work, determination, and a positive mindset we can all achieve anything we want to.” 

Read more about Haydn’s campaign to make cycle helmets mandatory for under 16s.

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