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Olympian and Commonwealth Gold Medalist presents Students with Awards at Salford City College

Student Success Celebrated at Awards and Showcase Evening

Students, guests, governors and staff from Salford City College celebrated the end of another fantastic year at the annual Salford City College awards. The prestigious event, held at The Lowry Theatre, was a celebration of the most outstanding students from each subject area across the College’s five centres; Pendleton, Eccles, Walkden, City Skills and FutureSkills.

The evening’s proceedings were led by Curriculum Managers, Paul Williams and Cheryl Smith with a special welcome from the College’s CEO and Principal, John Spindler. John’s speech celebrated a round-up of the year’s highlights including being named the top GFE College in Greater Manchester for success rates and the £9m investment to renovate and grow the College’s estate and facilities.

This year’s special guest speaker was Craig Heap, Olympian and Commonwealth Gold Medalist who won the hearts and respect of everyone in the room with his moving yet humorous speech. Craig gave an account of his journey; from being a young boy from Burnley who wanted to be a gymnast and told he was never going to make it yet going on to captain England to a Gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. His closing message to students was, ‘dare to be different”.

Awards were then given out to students from across the three provisions, 16-18, Apprenticeships and Higher Education who were nominated by tutors as an ‘outstanding student’ based on improvement, dedication to their studies or their excellent academic attainment.

The evening’s entertainment were performances by former student and Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Finalist Ella Shaw who told the audience she had an amazing two years at Salford City College FutureSkills and said her knock backs have made her even more driven to succeed. Current FutureSkills student, Gianluca Abbondandolo then wowed everyone with an acoustic set. Students from photography captured the magic of the evening and students from Hospitality provided a wonderful chocolate demonstration.

Salford City College ‘Student of the Year’ was chosen by the Executive Team and was awarded to Leah Dean. Leah’s I.T and Computing tutor, who shortlisted her said, “There are countless reasons as to why Leah deserved this award, she shaved her head to raise donations for cancer charities and collected over £3400. Last year she won £600 on a Scratch card and donated it all to the Salford flood victims. She is also about to undergo a 100-mile cycle ride from Birmingham to Salford to raise further cash for Cancer charities. She is an outstanding person and student”.

Leah’s award was presented to her by Professor Helen Marshall, University of Salford Vice Chancellor who said, “The University of Salford has an amazing partnership with Salford City College and this event is about celebrating how the power of education changes lives”. Helen also told students of her journey from being the first in her family to go to university to then becoming a Vice-Chancellor. She closed the evening with a powerful quote – “There are three kinds of people in this world; people who make things happen, people who watch things happen and people who wonder what just happened”.

A parent of an award winner said, “It has been a really good evening, very entertaining, enjoyable and very profound to see such commitment to education.”

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