NEWS: January 2015 Colleges 4th Student Recognition Celebrating Achievement Award

Celebrating Achievement
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Southend Adult Community College (SACC) hosted its 4th Annual Celebrating Achievements Awards (in recognition of student success) and launched of its Annual Review 2013/14.

The ceremony took place on Thursday 22nd January 2015 to celebrate the fantastic work of the College and its learners at SACC’s Business Enterprise Skills Training Centre, Ambleside Drive, Southend.

19 outstanding learners, staff, employers, partners and community groups will be presented with award trophies by The Worshipful the Mayor Cllr Chris Walker.  

The awards are in recognition of their hard work, determination and commitment to learning; be it fantastic exam results, personal achievements or continuing to learn during difficult times. 

The College also recognised the important hard work and dedication of staff in helping students achieve their full potential.

This is the first year the College has introduced the Susan D’Ath Award*. This is in memory of Susan who spent over 30 years as a Governor at the College and keen advocate of lifelong learning across the borough. Susan had a particular passion for supporting young adults with profound and complex learning disabilities and played an instrumental role in raising funds to provide a sensory room at the college’s Westcliff Centre a specialist centre for adults with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Principal Stephen Lay said: “Events like this are an important part of College life; they celebrate success, raise the college’s profile in the local community and show case good practice. Hopefully others will be inspired to take up further learning or training through hearing about the success of the award winners. In these tough economic times it is heartening to see that our learners have not let this get in their way; in fact it has made them more determined to succeed in their chosen courses. They should all be very proud of what they have achieved”.

SACC’s panel of Governors were responsible for the very tough decision of deciding the winners for each category.

The 2013/14 award winners and citations are:

Apprentice of the Year Connor Taylor 
Connor is an Advanced Apprentice in the ICT Professional sector. Working for a local school he has demonstrated outstanding technical ability and has been commended for his exemplary attitude to work. 

Learner of the Year in the Community Elizabeth Mansfield
Elizabeth has three children and having left school before taking her GCSE’s was determined to help them do well. She has attended English classes at Temple Sutton Children’s Centre and despite many challenges achieved her first qualification in English last year. Elizabeth is now on the residents’ housing committee representing others. 

Community Partner of the Year Richmond Fellowship
The Richmond Fellowship is a national mental health charity providing community based programmes for mental health service users. A highly effective partnership with the College has enabled learners to successfully complete a self-development course with ‘graduates’ then acting as ‘buddies’ for the next group of students.   

Large Employer of the Year Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB)
The CAB has acted as the lead body in an innovative project ‘Transforming Advice on Sea’ that has recruited seven ‘advice apprentices’ to work with seven local voluntary organisations. 

Learning Disabilities Learner of the Year Samuel Seeboruth
Sam achieved in many ways during his time on the ‘Maths for Everyday Living’ course. He has managed to learn strategies to become a more independent learner, has made a real effort to interact with the rest of the class and completed the year achieving the Entry Level 1 Maths qualification.  

Learning for Health and Wellbeing Student of the Year Barbara Townsend
Barbara enrolled on ‘French for Beginners’ three years ago having been asked by her French daughter in law to look after the grandchildren who did not speak English. Barbara’s perseverance in learning a language she did not find easy is inspiring. 

Learning for Life Student of the Year (Joint Winner) Philip Heather
Philip has shown tremendous determination and dedication to overcome numerous challenges to successfully complete his Level 2 functional skills English qualification. Having left school with no qualifications he realised that education was key to a better future for himself and his family.  

Learning for Life Student of the Year (Joint Winner) Phelumusa Hlabangana
‘Musa’ has been inspirational not only to his peers, but also his family at home. In order for him to achieve his learning goals it has often been necessary for him to arrive in class straight from a night shift and stay in college all day for his maths and English lessons, before a short ‘nap’ and back to work. ‘A true, humble gentleman; genuinely loved by all the class’. 

Learning for Work Student of the Year Sheryl Winslow
Sheryl began her learning journey by enrolling on a ‘Supporting Teaching & Learning in Schools’ while volunteering in a local school. As her confidence grew the setting asked her to work on a 1:1 basis with one of the children and this proved extremely successful. With this experience, Sheryl has now been appointed to a full time Teaching Assistant role. 

Senior Learner of the Year John Packwood
John has a real passion for languages and is a very committed learner who spends a lot of time on his homework and always produces work of a high standard. He is an active member of the class and says studying French and going to the gym gives provides him a purpose to his week.   

SME Employer of the Year Chase High School 
Chase High School recruited their first apprentice following a request from a new member of staff to start their employment in an apprenticeship training role. This initiative proved so successful that the school has gone on to recruit a further three apprentices. The school pays a competitive rate of pay and provides opportunities for the apprentices to progress in the school once the apprenticeship framework is completed. 

Support Staff Member of the Year Amy Smith
Amy provided administrative support to the staff arranging the progression interviews for adults with learning disabilities. Throughout this process Amy provided a fantastic ‘meet and greet’ approach for the prospective learners and their carers/families. Her dedication and hard work over the course of the interviews greatly contributed to the smooth running and success of the entire process. 

Support Tutor Member of the Year Jane Watts
Jane works as a Personal Tutor, visiting learners in the workplace and liaising with the employer to ensure that the learner is successful in all aspects of their programme. Jane is hardworking, dedicated and passionate about providing the best possible support to her learners. 

Team of the Year Languages
The Languages team has led the College’s move to make learning resources available ‘on-line’. The tutors were exemplary in their commitment to the project. This involved undertaking additional training, developing resources and uploading materials onto the ‘learning platform’. In addition, the team were outstanding in their approach to encouraging their learners to embrace this new approach including the use of new technology. 

Tutor of the Year Jay Ellis
Jay works with the College’s study programme groups for young people and helps them overcome various issues of behaviour and social exclusion. She thrives on seeing the change in behaviour and increase in confidence as the learners engage fully with the programme. Jay is a valued member of the 16-19 team and really does have the ‘Midas’ touch in this challenging area of work.  

Volunteer of the Year Christine Woodley
After completing her Art degree Christine expressed an interest in volunteering at the college. She has become the Art Department’s first ‘Learning Champion’ in a scheme that matches her volunteering activities with the skills and experience she needs to gain employment in creative industries. Chris has worked tirelessly producing materials, arranging room displays and staffing events.   

Westcliff Centre Learner of the Year – The Susan D’Ath Award Rhys Jones
Rhys is a popular student at the centre, interacting with his peers and staff through both his vocal and non-vocal communication. He has built on his three years’ prior learning and has demonstrated an enhanced level of confidence in his own abilities. Rhys has progressed in all areas of learning, but it is swimming lessons that he has really excelled. Well done Rhys! 

Young Learner of the Year (Joint Winner) Ryan Day
Ryan has worked exceptionally hard in order to overcome his barriers to learning. When he first joined the group Ryan struggled to settle down, but as his confidence grew he slowly began to positively engage with the wider community. Through his determination to succeed the transformation in Ryan’s approach to learning is remarkable. Through volunteering activities and gaining a whole suite of qualifications. Ryan is now successfully participating in an apprenticeship with a local voluntary organisation.  

Young Learner of the Year (Joint Winner) Joshua Craigie
Joshua has a real passion for music, but when his course folded he became disengaged and started mixing with the wrong people. He heard about the college’s study programme through a friend and last year gained Maths and English qualifications as well as volunteering experience working with the homeless. This experience provided the platform to gain an apprenticeship with the CAB and his life has changed dramatically. He is also again pursuing his music career as the winner of the ‘Big Sound Battle’ competition in London.