First Class Award Winners Set Benchmark For Generations To Come

Students from across Lancashire have etched their names into history – as the very first winners of Nelson and Colne College Group’s Student of the Year Awards.

These inaugural awards celebrated learners from across the Nelson and Colne College Group (NCCG), which includes Nelson and Colne College, Accrington and Rossendale College and Lancashire Adult Learning.

Selected as overall winners on the evening were a would-be Forensics Officer who used her investigative skills to find the best college in the area having come to Lancashire from Italy. Plus, a learner who is now steaming ahead in his career on the railways.

Mareme Seck (20) came to join family in Lancashire having lived in both Senegal and Northern Italy. Without any qualifications, she put heart and soul into gaining her Maths and English progressing to a T-Level course in Digital at Nelson and Colne College. T Levels heavily involve employers in their design and delivery, including a lengthy work placement element, and Mareme excelled on her placement at the EG Group in Blackburn. Mareme is planning to undertake a degree in the digital sector, at Leeds Beckett University.  Her nominator for the Award said: “Mareme is always giving everything to her college work and also taking care of her family. She has shown true grit and resilience and is a brilliant T-Level student.”

A volunteer course run with Network Rail was the first stop in Ryan’s transformation. The Rail Maintenance scheme which Ryan took part through Lancashire Adult Learning, allows students to learn the basics of construction on the tracks. It was certainly just the ticket for Ryan, who said: “The programme did wonders not just for my job prospects but my confidence too. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

Awards were presented to learners at all academic levels. These were:

  • Cora Gane – A Level Student of the Year, from Barnoldswick. Cora was nominated by her Sociology and English tutors for her dedication to her studies and her mentoring of other students.
  • Mareme Seck – T Level Student of the Year
  • Keira Wheelan Baxter – Level 3 Student of the Year. The Clayton-le-Moors childcare learner received excellent feedback from her employer whilst on placement.
  • Tegan Wilson – Level 2 Student of the Year. Painter and Decorator now creating sensory murals for children with special educational needs.
  • Lewis Blackburn – Level 1 Student of the Year. An ITC and Business learner, Lewis has made massive progress with his Maths and English.
  • Corey Breton – Entry Level Student of the Year, from Colne. Currently cooking-up a career for himself in catering and working within the Accrington College canteen.
  • Alysha Starkie – Apprentice of the Year from Burnley. Now working in the extremely sensitive world of end-of-life care, following a successful placement in a care home.
  • Rachel Glendinning – Higher Education Student of the Year – The Clitheroe learner currently runs sports clubs alongside her studies, and is predicted a first-class honours degree.
  • Ryan Simpson – Adult Learner of the Year
  • Michael Wilson – Adult Community Learner of the Year. Following the collapse of his photography business during COVID, Michael has moved on to a career as mental health care assistant, thanks to a pioneering programme with Lancashire Adult Learning.
  • Wajeeha Asjad – Outstanding Contribution to College Life. A Level student Wajeeha has made a huge contribution to the student experience during her time at College.

The awards presentation was held at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel, in Accrington, in the company of Mayors, local dignitaries, college staff and of course, their friends and families.

Lisa O’Loughlin, CEO and Principal of Nelson and Colne College Group said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to celebrate a number of our student’s achievements through our first ever Student Awards event.

It was clear, whilst reading the hundreds of nominations for these awards just how much our students have achieved and have contributed to our College Group since they started their course. The standard of nominations was outstanding, and I’d like to congratulate them all on their fantastic successes.

The achievements we heard on the evening, and those of every student who has taken positive steps forward in reaching their aspirational goals, is truly phenomenal. These students seized every opportunity that their tutors and curriculum leaders have afforded them, ensuring they are best equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for their future career. There is honestly no better start to forging a high value career for yourself than using your resilience and dedication to succeed in your studies. This will take you a very long way, and you should all be incredibly proud of what you have achieved.”

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