Young people and adults who excelled in education and skills training, fought against the odds, volunteered and supported their peers, were recognized at an award ceremony at The Beck Theater in Hayes.
Uxbridge College’s Annual Awards returned to the stage with motivational speaker Cameron Parker sharing his inspiring story and handing out awards, including awards for employer partners working in college in west London.
Performing arts students from Uxbridge College’s Praxis Theater on the Hayes campus also played an important role and started the evening with performances about You Reach Up and You Will Get Up Again, and you will be found by music and acting students and a dance performance by Another Day of Sun.
Cameron talked about his life, including playing American football with the GB Lions, becoming the first college graduate in his family and using his dyslexia and ADD to his advantage.
His story resonated with award winners – chosen from the college’s 8,000 part-time and full-time students – and their friends and family who attended the festivities.
Prize winners included:
George Penn: Super Star Award (overall winner) and Star Award for Sport, Travel and Public Services – for his outstanding academic and personal achievements during his two years as a student. In addition to achieving top marks in his BTEC Level 3 Sports Extended Diploma, he also successfully completed a Biology A level in his spare time and is currently studying physiotherapy at Brunel University London. He attended boxing classes through college, and his studies included project management of a new sporting initiative to help overcome racial inequalities in society.
Bistrit Gurung: Star Award for School of Business – a fantastic role model who achieves perfect attendance and punctuality, and the maximum grades D * D * D * in his BTEC level 3. Secured a place on a law degree LLB at the University of York, where he was also awarded an international scholarship – he is originally from Nepal – worth £ 20,000. Also represented College of Football in the First Team at Uxbridge College.
Mamati Malekei: Star Award winner for English teaching and undergraduate studies – Originally from Afghanistan, he has worked extremely hard and made great strides and passed all his exams, despite many challenges. Awarded a Jack Petchey Prize for Overcoming Adversity, he also plays for the Uxbridge College Football Academy and has now advanced to Level 2 Diploma in Sports and Independent Skills.
Megan Hollyoak: Star Award for Hair, Beauty, Hospitality and Early Years – a fantastic all-rounder with excellent soft skills such as communication and teamwork as well as high standards of technical and theoretical knowledge, and she took extra units in her level 1 qualification. Chef Christina Turner at her internship at Corbin and King described her as “a pleasure to have in our kitchen”, praising her interest, attitude and understanding of food.
James Makepeace: Star Award in Performing Arts – achieved a distinction in his extended Diploma at Level 3, which often produced university-standard courses. Has shown that he can work at a highly professional level and in fact has often been confused with external GPs as a acting actor. Works well in teams and alone. Now studying acting at the University of Wales Trinity St. David, and will definitely be a success on our screens and national stages.
Rukhsar Ahmad: Gavin Taylor Bursary Award – A £ 1,000 annual scholarship to help her at university – she is studying medicine at King’s College London. She has been at Uxbridge College for five years and started on an ESOL course (English for speakers of other languages). Repeat some A exams to get the result she needed, and also volunteered in college and in the community, including at the Fara Charity Shop in Hayes. She also has relevant work experience in a general practitioner and pharmacy.
Alana -May Brannan: Intermediate Apprentice Award – Works to support autistic adults as Life Skills Practitioner at West London Community College Colne Lodge. Quickly established himself in his role supporting autistic adults, quickly became a very strong team member and developed high standards of care. Now we move on to the advanced apprenticeship at level 3.
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust: Work Experience Employer Award – provided internships to health and social care, science and catering students throughout the year. Created a strong introductory program and got colleagues on board so students could spend time working at their three hospitals, including during the third wave of the pandemic.
Charlie Bighams Ltd: Apprentice employer – their apprentice is on a Level 3 Mechatronics training, which involves the maintenance of mechanical and electronic equipment, in this case the company’s Park Royal kitchens. Extremely supportive of their apprentice, to whom they provide very helpful feedback.
Dylan McTaggart, Vice President and Principal of Uxbridge College: “It has been truly inspiring to see so many of our students and their families celebrate their achievements again – especially when they have all had so much to contend with during the pandemic.
“We have had some particularly impressive young and adult students this year, and I have no doubt that they will all continue to make fantastic contributions to their community and working life as well as fulfill their own dreams.
“Every single student is an individual, and Uxbridge College is committed to helping them find the right path to their own style of success – be it getting a university degree, getting a steady job through an apprenticeship or gaining sufficient skills to participate in the next level of study. ”
Dr Darrell DeSouza, CEO and CEO of HCUC, the merged college group for Uxbridge College and Harrow College, said: “This event is a great opportunity to step back and see how much our students are achieving in so many ways during their time in college. While Uxbridge College and Harrow College both stand on their own as colleges, our common goals and partnership opportunities have value for all.
“I am also very pleased to honor our employer partners from across West London, who not only support thousands of students across the college, but participate in the vital dialogue on how best to fit further and higher education to the needs of the company.”