Students Joined by Families and Friends to Celebrate Success

17 December 2019 | College News, Student Life

City College Plymouth recognised the achievements of some of its students at a special ceremony on Thursday 12 December.

Joined by family and friends, the prize winners enjoyed a two-course meal before being presented with their Student of the Term awards. A total of 17 prizes were handed out on the night to a group of deserving students, all of whom have shown outstanding commitment to their work.

At the ceremony, which was held at the College’s PL1 Restaurant, Principal and Chief Executive of City College Plymouth, Jackie Grubb praised the winners for their determination, hard work and commitment, saying that each one of them had something to shout about.

Jackie said: “It is an honour to publically recognise those who have shown such great determination and outstanding qualities in order to succeed. Some of our winners have had to overcome great personal difficulties and barriers to be able to achieve and I hope you will join me in congratulating them.”

The awards honoured students across the full range of courses that the College offers. Those interested in finding out more can do so at the College’s Course Information Drop-in Evening on Wednesday 8 January, 4.30pm to 6.30pm at Kings Road. Visit or call 01752 305300 for more information.

Award Winners

Hospitality Award: Hollie Hudson
Care Award: George Ashton
Project SEARCH Award: Daniel Bonnage
Sport Award: Glenn Wood
Maths Award: Michelle Young
Hair and Beauty Award: Erin Bewers
Access to Higher Education Award: Kyler Baker
Science Award: Bradley Jane
Performing Arts Award: Clive Rowe
Medie Award: Jack Scantlebury
Plumbing Award: Kerry Heffernan
Painting and Decorating Award: Rebekah Holden
Automotive Award: Alex Arcos
Engineering Award: Jordan Hosking
Projects Award: Anna Peonides
Jumpstart Award: Jasmine Ullah


Bell Group Award for the Best Painting and Decorating Student: Luca Sanders

Winners’ profiles

Hollie Hudson, 17, North Prospect
Hospitality and Catering Award

Hollie, who is studying for a Diploma in Skills for Professions in Catering, Hospitality and Tourism, is praised for her impeccable work ethic and her positive attitude.  Hollie is always first to volunteer to work outside normal operating hours and serves as an inspiration to others. She has made a huge transformation since the start of her course last year, and is a brilliant example of how making positive choices can impact on your performance and success.

“I haven’t always found the course easy, but I am proud of the skills I have acquired during my time at the College. The teaching staff really helped me onto the right path with their feedback, and I now have the drive to truly succeed in this career.”

George Ashton, 17, Peverell
Childcare, Health and Social Care Award

Popular George isn’t the least bit bothered about being the only male on his course. His positive attitude to learning quickly caught the attention of his lecturers and he is described as having an excellent understanding of his subject. His work is of a very high standard despite working 12 hours a day while on a work placement. George is an excellent role model for the rest of the group and the department as a whole.

Daniel Bonnage, 20, Manadon
Skills Development Award

Daniel isn’t one to shy away from hard work to achieve his dream. This aspiring novelist has had to overcome many hurdles to get to where he is today, and staff at both the College and at his work placements cannot commend him enough for his positivity and resilience. Daniel’s autism means that certain things we take for granted can be more challenging for him, but he doesn’t let this get in his way. Daniel is proud of his autism and is an advocate for people with similar needs. Daniel, who is currently enrolled on the College’s Project SEARCH course, took part in the College’s new Supported Internships Programme, in partnership with Plymouth City Council, where he was a popular member of the team.

 “Unfortunately, my father was very ill during my internship at the Council; however, I knew I wanted to make him proud. I learned a lot working with the Council and I am now on placement at the hospital. Autism doesn’t have to get in the way of a good education and great experiences.”

Glenn Wood, 56, Liskeard
Sport Award

Running enthusiast Glenn took the bold move of pursuing a new career in something he was truly passionate about. Glenn is studying strength conditioning and coaching at the College, where he has become a friendly and well-liked student. Having spent many years in IT, he has been able to support those who struggle using computers and he is described as an inspiration to the rest of the group. Glenn is also heavily involved with East Cornwall Harriers running club and he has gained the confidence to directly apply his learning to help others – all in his own time.

“I have always had a passion for sports and helping others, and I decided now was the time to turn this passion into a career. I am truly grateful for the kind words that have been said about me: I do what I do out of love, not for recognition. Working with different professional clubs and sport societies has been hugely valuable and this course offers the opportunity to develop practical skills while learning the theory behind it all.”

Michelle Young, 40, Beacon Park
English and Maths Award 

During her time at the College, staff have seen Michelle’s confidence grow. Michelle joined the College’s level 3 Functional Skills Maths programme two years ago and, like many people, felt nervous about her own mathematical ability. Now studying for a GCSE in maths, Michelle has worked hard to make such tremendous progress and her lecturers say she has been a fantastic student.

 “I have always found the prospect of doing maths daunting, but I know how important good numeracy skills are. I feel a lot more confident now and I no longer shy away from numbers. The teaching staff have been very supportive during my time at the College and I am very proud to have been nominated for this award.”

Erin Bewers, 16, St Budeaux
Hair and Beauty Award

Hair and media make-up student Erin is hailed as a shining star in the department: her lecturers have praised her enthusiasm and mature attitude to learning. She excels at the practical elements of her course and uses Instagram to promote her skills to a wider audience. Erin’s images have been used by the College’s marketing team to promote the course and her talent has also attracted the attention of the team at Radio Plymouth, who have invited her to attend future events.

 “This course allows me the opportunity to be truly creative and fully explore my passion for make-up. Having my work used to promote the course has been a great honour and attending the various events has allowed me to reach a much wider audience.” 

Kyler Baker, 23
Access to Higher Education Award

Kyler, a full-time project worker, mentor and advocate for Barnado’s, is one of those students who takes great pride in his work and who goes above and beyond in everything he does. Currently studying for an Access to Higher Education Diploma in Social Work, Kyler is an incredibly open-minded and supportive member of the College, who goes out of his way to support his peers. As a Safe Zone ally for Barnardo’s, he plays a huge role in supporting children and young people facing discrimination, and he has just been given the role of City College Plymouth’s Student Diversity Officer. Moreover, he recently won a National Volunteer Award for Barnardos Marsh Trust, which is highly commended.

“This is a fascinating course and I am keen to learn as much as I can. I enjoy being able to draw on the experience I have gained through my work, but, likewise, I can use what I’m learning on my course to support the young people I meet through my job. I feel privileged to serve as the Student Diversity Officer as I will be working on campaigns I hold close to my heart.”

Bradley Jane, 18, Whitleigh
Science Award

A stand-out student with an infectious ‘can-do’ attitude, Bradley is an inspiration to his colleagues. This term, Bradley was successful in becoming a Student Technician Assistant and he has been able to fit in his new role around his study programme with ease. His positive outlook and talent for interacting with others has been pivotal in helping other students to get the most from their course. Bradley’s academic performance is impeccable and he has expertly balanced his work experience with his studies.

“Since I started at the College, I’ve developed a passion for helping others. It is an amazing feeling to be described as an inspiration, but I don’t feel like one. I just love the course and being able to share my interests with others.”

Clive Rowe, 56, Stoke
Performing Arts Award

Clive’s story of overcoming adversity and personal growth to get to where he is today is nothing short of inspiring. Clive has faced many personal battles, including poor physical and mental health, but he is now committed to expanding his education and employment prospects. In addition to studying for the Access to Higher Education Diploma in Creative Arts, Clive is also taking classes in English and maths.

Theatregoers might recognise him as he can often be found outside the Theatre Royal selling The Big Issue, with his beloved dog close by. He is described as a polite, professional and dedicated student who has always shown 100% commitment to his studies.

“Receiving this award is a very proud moment for me. I struggled with some of the IT elements at the start, but the key to getting past this was asking for help. I am really enjoying my performing arts training and I am grateful for my lecturer’s support.”

Jack Scantlebury, 18, Plympton
Media Award  

Hardworking, reliable, punctual and an all-round lovely student, Jack has studied at City College Plymouth for three years and hasn’t missed a single session; he hasn’t even been late! While his attendance record is extremely impressive, the main reason for his nomination has been his constant support of others: he’s been a shoulder to cry on and a true friend. He works hard, tries his best in every subject discipline and his lecturer says he is a pleasure to teach.

“I know this is the area in which I hope to pursue a career and that has been the main driving force behind my commitment to my course. I am hoping to continue my studies here on the degree course; fingers crossed I can maintain my 100% attendance record.”

Kerry Heffernan, 26, Saltash
Plumbing Award

Kerry has been nominated for this award due to her sheer determination and resilience. Kerry, who is studying for a Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing Studies, has gained the respect of her lecturers and peers for keeping at it even when finding it a challenge. She is a compassionate and caring member of the group, who has been juggling her studies alongside not one but two jobs. Kerry works incredibly hard and receives excellent results in both her practical and theory work; but what is most admirable about Kerry is her willingness to go above and beyond for others.

“I was very surprised to hear I had won this award. Everyone on the course works hard and we all try to support one another. It is a challenging course at times, but I am glad to keep working at it. Each day is one step closer to my new career.”

Rebekah Holden, 19, St Budeaux
Painting and Decorating Award

At just 19, Rebekah is already making a name for herself in the painting and decorating industry. The third-year apprentice, who is employed by the all-female Eliza Tay Lady Decorators, secured second place in the Southern Final of Johnstone’s Young Painter of the Year competition earlier this year and she achieved one of the highest merits at WorldSkills UK in September. Even more recently, Rebekah travelled to the NEC in Birmingham, where she represented the College at the SkillBuild National Final.

“I have really enjoyed the opportunity to take part in these competitions and being able to demonstrate my skills in this way. The competitions take a lot of preparation, but it is worth it. Both the College and my employer have supported me throughout the process and I am very proud of what I have achieved.”

Alex Arcos, 17, Southway
Automotive Award

Alex knows what it takes to be a success; he puts 100% effort into every task and, once he’s completed all of his work, he reaches for a book and continues to study. He has shown huge commitment to his course throughout, even after being told his employer was unable to keep him. Undeterred, Alex found a new employer who agreed to put him forward for the Apprenticeship programme, at which he is now excelling.

“What my experience has taught me is that life doesn’t always go to plan and there can be setbacks; however, hard work and a positive approach can help you overcome most things. I am very happy to have been selected for this award and the fact I love what I do makes it even better.”

Jordan Hosking, 18, Ham
Engineering Award

Described by his lecturers as quiet and thoughtful, Jordan sets a great example to the other students on the Level 3 Diploma in Engineering course. His work is exceptional and he encourages the rest of the group to work harder. Jordan is a pleasure to teach and thoroughly deserves this recognition.

“It was a very pleasant surprise to hear I had been nominated for this award; to receive such positive feedback is a great boost. I am fascinated by the different elements of this course and I particularly enjoy the teamwork exercises.”

Anna Peonides, 35, Southway
Projects Award

Former nursery supervisor Anna made a huge leap when she decided to exchange a toy screwdriver for a real one. In need of a new challenge, Anna enrolled on the Level 1 Certificate in Construction Skills, which is delivered at the College’s Sherford Training Centre. Since starting in September, Anna has demonstrated excellent practical skills and has produced some top-quality work. With an outstanding work ethic, an excellent eye for detail and a positive attitude, Anna is a shining example of just how much having the right attitude can help you to reach your goals.

“It has certainly been a change moving from childcare to construction, however, I feel many of the skills I acquired in my previous career have helped me on this course. I am in the process of interviewing for an Apprenticeship, which is very exciting and I am looking forward to seeing where this course will take me.”

Jasmine Ullah, 15, St Budeaux
Jumpstart Award

Jasmine, who is described by the staff as an exemplary student and a role model, joined the College’s Jumpstart programme after leaving mainstream education and being home-schooled. It was early on in the programme when Jasmine expressed interest in the painting and decorating trade. Now enrolled on to the Level 1 Certificate in Painting and Decorating, she is unfazed being in a male-dominated environment and is said to be excelling at her work.

Luca Sanders, 20, Lipson
Bell Group Award

Luca was nominated after demonstrating an excellent attitude to his training, and his willingness to help out in the workshop setting up resources for the other students. Luca and his family have been through a traumatic period after Luca’s mother underwent heart surgery. Despite all this, Luca remained focused, positive and 100% committed to his course.

Luca said: “I am very happy to have won this award. Thankfully, my mum has made a good recovery and I hope this has made her proud. I am very interested in becoming an apprentice so I knew I had to remain focused on my work. The staff have been very supportive during this time.”

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