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London South East Colleges rolls out the red carpet for star students

Exceptional students were given star treatment last night at London South East Colleges’ annual awards ceremony.

21 students were presented with prizes at the glittering event, which took place in the Odeon Cinema, Orpington. Every winner had an inspiring story and had demonstrated outstanding dedication, determination and hard work throughout the academic year.

Over 100 people attended the event. Award winners had been nominated by their tutors and selected from across the College’s Bromley, Bexley, Greenwich and Orpington campuses. Students of all ages and from many different courses had been nominated – ranging from SEN learners to those studying for degrees.

The guest speaker was inspirational racing driver, Nicolas Hamilton. Born with cerebral palsy, Nicolas has never let his let his disability prevent him from achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a successful racing driver.

Addressing guests, Nicolas talked about the challenges he faced growing up and his determination to succeed. He encouraged the students to never give up on their dreams.

Presenting the winning students with their awards, Nicolas said: “What a fantastic event – congratulations to all the nominees and winners. It’s great to see these young people achieving their goals, many of whom have faced challenges.

“These students have persevered, despite having had setbacks. Credit must be given to the College too for helping them to reach their goals. My advice to you all is to always be honest, determined and true to yourself – and good things will come.”

A number of awards were sponsored by local employers – Orpington 1st, South East London Chamber of Commerce, Morgan Hunt, News Shopper and Visit Greenwich.

Turner and Townsend was presented with an Employer of the Year award for not only working with the College’s Level 3 built environment students – but mentoring them, offering many site visits and delivering masterclasses.

Guests were also treated to fantastic performances from Romzy, a Production Arts student from Greenwich who is currently taking the music world by storm, and a group of first year dance students.

 Principal and CEO of London South East Colleges, Sam Parrett OBE, presented her own ‘Principal’s Award’ to Joshua Tanton – a successful HE student, who is studying for a science foundation degree while working in a busy role at William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Addressing guests, Sam said: “This is always such a wonderful event in our College calendar. Every student who has been nominated for or won an award has worked exceptionally hard this year and achieved some amazing results.

As John C Maxwell explained: “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” All our award winners certainly reflect this and provide inspiration to everyone around them.

“We are also hugely grateful to our employer partners and local authorities for supporting our work and our students – these partnerships are integral to the College’s success. Going forward, we will continue to expand and grow our employer engagement activity, working within our local communities to offer people the highest quality learning experience- while helping to meet industry need.”

Winner of both the HE student of the Year award and the Principal’s Award was Joshua Tanton (24), from Ashford, Kent. Joshua has successfully completed a foundation degree in biomedical science, while working full time at the William Harvey hospital. He said:

“I am really overwhelmed and rather surprised to win these awards! I am very grateful to my tutors who have been so supportive and encouraging. Studying for a degree while working full time is not easy, but it’s been a great experience and has set me on the right pathway to achieve my ambition of becoming a biomedical scientist.”

Aaron Thomas (18) was presented with a special award from the Chartered Institute of Builders, for outstanding academic achievement on his HNC construction management course. He said:

“I didn’t expect to be nominated for an award, but am really pleased! I have been well

supported on my course this year and am enjoying working for a construction company, where I am training to be a site manager.”

Charlene Francis won the Adult Student of the Year Award (Greenwich) for her hard work and success on an Access to Production Arts course. She said:

“Tonight has been wonderful and I’m overwhelmed to have won two special awards this year; the other being my CoSLP award back in June at the House of Lords. This College has given me back my enthusiasm and determination to achieve after spending so long out of education looking after my four children. I’ve also been surrounded by incredibly inspirational people; both staff and students.”

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