An Eritrean asylum seeker who was taken into care before embarking on a science course with the aim of studying for a degree in pharmacy was among the 84 award winners at this year’s Northampton College Awards Ceremony.

Samuel Yirgalem, who won the ‘Overcoming Challenges’ award sponsored by Briggs & Forrester, typified the stories of life-changing commitment and dedication showcased at the annual awards event staged at the college’s Booth Lane campus on Friday, December 2.

Samuel was joined on stage by Erihs Janovskis, whose enterprising solution to a problem with a sandwich-cutting machine at his employer Greencore helped saved the company £77,000 a year. Erihs was named Most Dedicated Student, sponsored by The Oakleaf Group, for his continued hard work throughout his apprenticeship programme.

Principal Pat Brennan-Barratt said: “The annual awards ceremony showcases a truly exceptional display of talent and determination. It has been a real privilege to hear so many inspiring stories and to hear about the progress our students have made, both personally and academically.”


The first students to move into a £13million new college campus have said the state-of-the-art facility could have a ‘life-changing’ impact on their futures.

daventry students on laptopsNorthampton College’s new Daventry Campus in Badby Road West, Daventry has opened its doors for the first time, with students able to make the most of a new Digital Academy, industry-standard workshops for motor vehicle engineering and hairdressing and beauty therapy salons.

Courtney Savage, aged 17, a Level 2 health and social care student, said: “I think the new building is smarter, it feels bigger and is generally a much nicer place to come to everyday. I think the new style is more appropriate for a college because it feels like a step up from school and more like a university.”

Level 3 childcare student Vicky Foulks, aged 16, said: “There are much better facilities now which has created a lot more workspace for us to use which is important in childcare as we need to learn a lot of practical aspects of child development.

“With facilities like this on our doorstep it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.”
Students at Northampton College enjoyed food from all four corners of the globe as part of a ‘Street Food’ festival celebrating the cultures of overseas students.

esol street marketSamosas, blinis, flatbreads, curries, falafel and spring rolls were all on offer as part of the event which saw students from the college’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course team up with NVQ Level 1 Catering students to create a menu featuring traditional dishes from their homelands.

Students from countries including Ethiopia, Sudan, Latvia, Russia, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Eritrea took part in the festival as part of their National Citizen Service qualifications – bringing a taste of their own countries to Northampton for local students to try.
Northampton College apprentices played a pivotal role in an international skills challenge to build a scale replica of one of Europe’s most iconic buildings.

student creating paper buildingWill Smith, Akhila Attiganal, Marcus Hawksworth, James Coulston and Tom Lees from Siemens Rail - studying BTEC Level 3 in Electrical Engineering at Northampton College - took part in a project to create their version of the Atomium building in Brussels as part of European Vocational Skills Week.

The group were tasked with putting together a series of elements manufactured by fellow apprentices from across the world, with sections from Siemens bases in France, Germany, Spain, Denmark and Portugal.

The final design will be presented by Siemens executives during a European Vocational Skills Week event in Berlin next month.
body armour demoStudents at Northampton College who are keen to pursue a career in public services have been able to find out more about staying safe in uniform thanks to the donation of a bullet proof vest.

The state-of-the-art vest was handed over by specialist safety clothing manufacturer SafeGuard as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to promote awareness of the importance of safety and protecting the lives of law enforcement and military operatives.

SafeGuard has teamed up with the Public Services course at Northampton College to help educate students on the working mechanics behind the design and structure of tactical armour.

SafeGuard Clothing spokesman Thomas Bowman said: "We are pleased to assist Northampton College in the development of their Public Service course and the donation of one of our bullet proof vest that aims to enhance the learning experience of students.

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student success

Jodie Bunting

Jodie Bunting

Hairdressing student Jodie Bunting proved she was a cut above the rest when made it through to the finals of the WorldSkills UK competition, performing against the clock under extreme...



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