Photo gallery: Students shine at Great Yarmouth College awards night

GY college awards

GY college awards - Credit: Archant

More than 250 students, local employers, family members, friends and staff of Great Yarmouth College packed the Minster last Thursday for the annual Further Education (FE) Awards celebration.

FE awards are conferred for outstanding achievement, contribution to college life and to those who have struggled against adversity to succeed in their chosen programme.

More than 60 awards were presented by the Mayor of Yarmouth, Cllr Marlene Fairhead, including seven group categories and one for ‘student of the year.’

The keynote address was delivered by Ian Hacon, founder of the Yellow Brick Road leadership training company and president of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, whose principal theme focused on the potential for current students to make “future history.”

Attending his first awards event was the college’s new principal, Stuart Rimmer, who opened the event in the company of former principal Penny Wycherley, returning to celebrate with staff and students.

Vice principal Ruth Harrison said: ‘It is really important to be proud of the success of our students; their commitment and determination provides them with the confidence to go on to either further study or work and to contribute to the local community.”

The award for Student of the Year was presented by John Morse, president of Great Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce, and was a surprise announcement on the night, with the selection made by the college senior management team.

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Julia Howard, college director of strategic development, said: “With so many outstanding candidates, it was a really difficult choice.

“However Duane Nichol’s drive and determination really stood out.”

Duane came to Yarmouth from Northampton College where he was studying IT. His ambition was to secure a place at university, with his initial target being achievement of an Extended Diploma.

Having started the course a month late, Duane undertook two years’ work in one year, while simultaneously studying GCSE English. Staff often found Duane working late into the evening as the college closed around him!

He achieved his goal, and is now studying for a BSc in Computer Science at Nottingham Trent University.

Other awards were made across the college’s broad subject base, from entry qualifications to level 5, including animal care, business, hairdressing, marine engineering, welding, catering, childcare, music and many other vocational areas.

The award ceremony was sponsored by a number of local businesses, schools and organisations, each with a link to an individual award.

Catering for the event was provided by students and staff from the college.