A former army officer transitioning to civilian life, a TV make-up artist, high achieving apprentices and students overcoming challenges to get top grades - just a few of the winners unveiled this week at the Northampton College awards ceremony.The event, held at Booth Lane campus, saw dozens of students collecting awards for their academic achievements over the past 12 months.One winner was Louise Leeming, a former Media Make-up student, whose tutor lined up a weekend of work experience for her on the BBC children’s series ‘Marrying Mum and Dad’. She impressed the crew so much she is now a fully paid up and valued member of the show’s make-up team.Several performing arts students were recognised for their hard work, including Emily Summerfield who has secured a place at one of Britain’s top drama schools and fellow student Ellie Sanders who now has her dream job – stage managing shows at the Royal & Derngate.Archie Holland, who studied Business and IT and achieved double merits, was another award winner, with the event compere telling guests: “Archie’s cerebral palsy in no ways dampens his zest for life and his determination is infectious. His ‘can do’ attitude has been admired by all – especially when he learnt to drive so he could get himself to college.”The final award of the night was presented to Nathan Lees, who joined the College after five years of service in the British Army’s Royal Military Police, where he rose to the position of Section Commander. Nathan enrolled in an Access to Science programme, was awarded a distinction and is now studying physiotherapy at university.This special award was presented in memory of former Northampton College tutor Katy Wright, who sadly died six years ago. Katy’s parents have endowed the College with a fund to support an award every year in their daughter’s name.Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said: “What an extraordinary display of talent, determination and success – congratulations to all our winners for inspiring us all. A superb event and a real privilege to be able to celebrate so many of our incredible students.”More than 300 guests attended the event at Northampton College’s Booth Lane campus and the 12 themed awards were each sponsored by a local business. The sponsors were The University of Northampton, Siemens, Opus Energy, Briggs and Forrester, Neovia Logistics, igus, ENGIE, the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP), Kier, Recol Engineering and Cosworth.
Tiny tots at Northampton College’s own nursery were given an exclusive look at how work is progressing on a new £4.75million building at Booth Lane.The children, aged between two and four, were treated to a visit from construction staff working for the project’s main contractor Kier – who gave them an insight into how the new Advanced Construction and Engineering Centre is being constructed ahead of its launch next year.Kier Contracts Manager Paul Nelson spent time reading a construction-based story to the youngsters and explained the equipment being used on the project. The children were then taken to a safe vantage point overlooking the site to see the construction activities and workers in action.Nursery supervisor Jackie Ross said: “It was lovely for the children to find out more about the building they see on their way into nursery every day. We can see the cranes and the diggers from our window and now have a better understanding of what is happening.”The ACE Centre will help train the next generation of builders, plumbers and decorators and teach pioneering new techniques aimed at equipping the workforce of the future with the very latest skills.Alongside courses which focus on craft skills there will also be courses at Level 3 for those looking for supervisory, technician or management careers in the sector, such as in Civil Engineering, Building Services Engineering, or Project Management.Building work on the centre, which will include a revolutionary ‘Digital Lab’ featuring a Virtual Reality classroom, 3D printing facilities and industry-standard workshop equipment, will progress throughout the winter and it is due to open in September 2019, providing a pipeline of ‘work-ready’ staff for local employers.Paul Nelson from Kier said: “This project provides a key opportunity to help nurture and develop talent in the younger generation where we currently see an industry-wide skills gap. The ACE Centre will provide essential training to enhance the future for the construction industry, producing much-needed skilled trades operatives in a location where they are currently in high demand.”
A former Northampton College student has been shortlisted for a ‘Male Role Model’ award for his work mentoring, guiding and inspiring young people.
Andrew Little, aged 65, was a finalist in the Male Role Model of the Year awards having been nominated by his daughter, Gina Brett.A late learner, Andrew recently passed his maths and English GCSEs having spent three years studying at Booth Lane. He now works as a mentor to current students.Gina said: “My dad has inspired other students to overcome diversity and encouraging them all the way, even going as far as buying each of them a dictionary at Christmas. He now volunteers two days a week at the college, mentoring and supporting individuals and groups, helping and supporting them in their studies.“One student saw him in passing recently and said to my dad that if it wasn’t for him he would have quit college by now. We are so grateful to him and very proud of what he is doing.”Mr Little was narrowly beaten to the title by Robert Allen for his work in the community, setting up community football club Sands United. The club brings together dads that have lost babies at birth or through miscarriage and has raised thousands of pounds for charity.This is the first year of the Male Role Model of the Year Awards which aim to recognise the important contributions local men and boys make in their community, families, schools and workplace.Councillor Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “We are pleased to have received so many nominations for the Male Role Model of the Year Awards, during its first year.“I want to thank the judging panel for assisting me with the difficult task of shortlisting the nominations. All the nominees were extremely deserving.”
Hospitality and catering students from Northampton College were given the chance to showcase their skills on one of the county's biggest stages when they were brought in to help man the kitchens at the Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards.A number of students had the opportunity to work alongside award-winning chef Lee Scott and prepare a sumptuous three course meal at the glittering event, held at the Royal & Derngate theatre to celebrate the county's thriving food and drink industry.More than 500 guests tucked into game terrine, fillet of beef and a pressed apple terrine, with former Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers among those impressed with the students' work.Musical theatre students also had their spell in the spotlight, performing two routines during the drinks reception.Meanwhile, former Booth Lane student Arthur Dzerins was named the winner of the coveted Young Chef of the Year category. One of the judges was Simon Dyer, himself a former college student who has recently landed a new job as executive chef to Richard Branson on the exclusive Necker Island in the Caribbean.
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