Sheffield students’ outstanding success celebrated at awards ceremony

Adult learner Sally Driscoll receives her award from Simon Hannett
Adult learner Sally Driscoll receives her award from Simon Hannett

The outstanding successes of Sheffield College students and apprentices have been celebrated at a high profile ceremony in the city.

Fifty-two learners were nominated for a total of 14 awards after being selected by teaching staff from around 16,000 students.

Students and their families, employers, college staff and governors attended the ceremony, which was compered by Hallam FM presenter Simon Morykin and held at the Copthorne Hotel on Bramall Lane on June 12th.

Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal, The Sheffield College, said: “It was an absolute honour to celebrate the inspirational achievements of our students from across our diverse college community.”

She added: “They have shown remarkable determination, often in the face of adversity, to achieve their goals and we feel very privileged to have contributed to supporting our students in going further in their careers and transforming their lives.”

The 14 award winners are:

Amy Wilson - Business and Enterprise Student of the Year.

Jean De Dieu Nkuundabera – Construction Student of the Year.

Joel Roberts - Health and Science Student of the Year.

Semere Gebretensae - ESOL, Employability and Foundation Learning Student of the Year.

Luke Lee – Engineering and Technology Student of the Year.

Ben West - English, Maths and Academic Student of the Year.

Eve Hines - Digital Creative Media and Arts Student of the Year.

Adam Khan – Chair of Governors’ Choice Award for a student who has achieved at an exceptional level and is a standout student.

Lewis Eyre - 16-18 Achievement Award.

Steven Coddington – Higher Education Achievement Award.

Shelby Green – Students’ Union Choice Award.

Sally Driscoll – Adult Achievement Award.

George Hobson – Apprenticeship Achievement Award.

Jonathan Green – Outstanding Achievement Award.

Sally Driscoll, 34, who won the Adult Achievement Award, is completing a one-year Humanities Access to University course. The mother-of-one decided to study at the College whilst having chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, which is now in remission. She said: “I realised during my treatment that I wanted to make the most of my life and be a positive role model for my family. I decided it was time to change jobs and do something that I really enjoyed, which meant returning to education. It’s been tough studying whilst looking after my family and having hospital treatment but I’ve never missed an assignment deadline.”

Sally now has a place to study a law degree at the University of Sheffield. Her long-term ambition is to become a solicitor. She added: “I couldn’t believe it when I was offered a place – it was a fantastic feeling. It’s never too late to go back to education and pursue your dreams. You’ve got to persevere, and it really helped that my college tutors were so supportive.”

Semere Gebretensae, 18, won the ESOL, Employability and Foundation Learning Student of the Year Award. Semere started an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course at the College after arriving in the UK in 2016.

His ambition is to progress to the next level course. Semere said: “It’s been really great to receive this award as I started studying from nothing, and the staff at the College have really helped me.”

Amy Wilson, 18, won the Business and Enterprise Student of the Year Award. She decided to study a vocational course, a BTEC Extended Diploma Level 3 in Business and Enterprise rather than A Levels, and is working on the launch of her own make-up business. Amy said: “It feels a real accomplishment to receive this award and it’s great to be recognised in this way. It was a lovely surprise.”

She explained: “I did well in my GCSEs and decided to go on to A Levels but changed my mind a couple of weeks before I was due to start. I realised that my heart wasn’t in it and I really wanted to do a vocational qualification to get some business skills. The qualification that I am completing is equivalent to A Levels and I can go to university later on if I want to. I’ve really enjoyed the course and my tutors were really encouraging and caring. My main ambition now is to become self employed and I’m developing my make-up business.”

Seb Schmoller, Chair of The Sheffield College Governing Body, said: “This ceremony celebrates the efforts of students and apprentices across the whole of the College. What they’ve achieved shows their great commitment, not just to their studies but also to helping their peers and often against the odds. The staff and governors of the College are very proud of what our students have achieved.”

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