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Derby College Group Celebrates Peak Performers

Derby College Group’s annual Peak Awards was a double celebration this year. As well as students from colleges across the group receiving awards in recognition of their hard work and achievements, DCG marked the 10th anniversary of the opening of the historic Roundhouse.

The Roundhouse Technical and Professional Skills college in Pride Park is now home to more than 2,000 students across a range of subjects from Engineering and Business to Childcare and Travel and Tourism.

Two special prizes were awarded on the night – Student of the Year and Apprentice of the Year.

Student of the Year was James Whitchurch (21) from Ilkeston who has studied Engineering at since he was 16.  He gained an apprenticeship at Train FX – returning to College on day release – and has gone onto complete an Engineering degree at the Roundhouse and finish his apprenticeship – securing a full-time role at the company.

Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Ellie Ball (22) from Alfreton in recognition of her achievements through an Advanced Apprenticeship in Supported Teaching and Learning at St Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy. 

She works in the Enhanced Resource Base with visual and physically impaired students. As a full time member of staff, she will be continuing her studies at degree level in rehabilitation and mobility.

Other award winners included:

DCG Chief Executive Mandie Stravino with Ellie Ball and James Whitchurch 2

Academic Studies award winner Ethan Lee (19) from Breaston who has studied Sociology, English Language and Psychology at the Joseph Wright post-16 Academic and Arts college and is planning to study Cognitive Neuro Science and Psychology at the University of Nottingham.

The Business award went to Maciej Mikisz (19) who has completed work placements with the Derby Telegraph Employer Academy and at Breadsall Priory and will be studying Business Management at the University of Derby.

The Care Award went to Kiran Banaras (19) who has been accepted to study as an Operations Department Practitioner at the University of Leicester following work placements as part of the Royal Derby NHS Foundation Trust Employer Academy.

Mother-of-two Muazaz Allawi, who is originally from Iraq and is studying English as a second language at the St James’ Centre, won the new Community Award.

Talented apprentice Luke Johnson (19), who works for Darley Abbey Construction and attends the Ilkeston Community college on day release, was presented with the Construction award.

A level Computer Science student Chloe Green (18) won the Digital Award.  She has secured a place at the University of Birmingham to study Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science.

Countryside Management student Daisy Fretwell (20,) who has studied at Broomfield Hall Land-based and Leisure college, won the Plant Science award in recognition of her commitment to work placements.

Former Ecclesbourne School pupil George Barwick (19) from Belper won the Professional Construction Award and will be studying Architectural Technology at the University of Derby.

Professional Cookery student Tom Gibbs (17) from Ripley who has been based at the College’s Engine Shed restaurant won the Service Sector Award.  He has gained employment at Denby Pottery Visitor Centre to help create a fine dining offer.

The Higher Education and Access Award went to Charis Oliver (20) from Watnall who has progressed onto a Foundation Degree in Criminal Justice which has included work experience opportunities such as covert security testing at various airports.  She returns to Broomfield Hall in September for the BA honours security and offender management degree programme.

Derby College Chief Executive Mandie Stravino said:

“The Peak Awards is the highlight of the College year and is even more special as we approach the ten year anniversary of the opening of the Roundhouse college.

“It is amazing showcase of young people who are now well prepared for the next stage of their lives – whether that the world of work, higher education or to start their own business.

“Furthermore, the success of adult learners who are progressing in their careers through further and higher education opportunities at the College has also been a true inspiration to us all.”

Peak Awards 2019 winners and highly commended

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