Last week, Chelmsford College celebrated students’ achievements with gusto. “Celebration Week” included 12 events, covering each curriculum area and over 70 courses and involved students, their parents, partners, friends and employers.
Celebration Week is a dedicated week in the College year to recognise achievements and present awards for special merit. Every student involved receives a certificate and it’s a jubilant time to celebrate progress made. Unlike formal prize giving and graduation events, Chelmsford College’s Celebration Week acknowledges personal achievements with awards for improvement, attendance, effort and employment skills.
Andy Sparks, Principal of Chelmsford College said “Celebration Week marks not only the culmination of students’ achievements at the College, but also their potential, going forward, whether that’s into employment or further study. It’s an exciting time, when students are prepared, ready to get their first job or to fully commit to a particular career pathway. One of the best parts of Celebration Week for me, is seeing just how far students have grown in confidence and their abilities. They’re fully equipped, ready to start the next chapter and it’s a privilege to have played a part in that process.”
Marco Iciek, Director of Learner Development and Inclusion said “This week is in recognition of all the hard work students have put in, a moment in time to celebrate what they’ve achieved. It also provides a chance to say thanks to all the staff at the College and students’ parents and guardians at home who have worked hard to support them. A whole range of students from those achieving Life Skills to those ready to join Uni in September will have their moment to be applauded for their success. Celebration Week also highlights the role our College plays in the community, meeting needs on a local and regional level.”
The event always takes a lot to organise, with over 1230 completed certificates, 208 awards and 205 trophy awards over five days.
This year, the College also awarded five Honorary Awards for individuals’ outstanding contribution to the College, their industry or specialist subject.
Honorary Award winners were:
Zoe Simons, a former Chelmsford College student and a Quarter Finalist on BBC Two’s Masterchef who deserved recognition for her outstanding contribution to Catering and for inspiring and helping current students. Zoe has previously said “My time at Chelmsford College was absolutely fundamental in my success” and she has since generously given her time to current students, mentoring and encouraging them in their own Catering career choices.
On accepting her award, Zoe said “I left College 8 years ago. It’s an absolute honour to receive the Honorary Award. It’s great to get so much support from tutors and without them I wouldn’t be in this Industry and loving my job. I’m so grateful to them.”
Simon Hawkins, Group Training and Quality manager for The Hill Group always goes the extra mile to support Construction students. Over the past four years, Simon has continuously worked with Construction students at the College, arranging trainee management posts and sponsored degree programmes after their HNC. His enthusiasm and outstanding support has truly inspired our College students.
Scott Staines has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to Men’s Hairdressing. Scott has his own salons “Hommé Hair” and is a bespoke barber and former member of the British Men’s Hairdressing team. He has trained under some of the biggest names: John Frieda and Craig Hubert and has competed internationally.
On receiving his award, Scott said “I’m really grateful to receive an award and it was a pleasure to pass on my knowledge and teach the students at the Academy.”
For Media, Chris Cook has been a huge inspiration to our Film students for some time. Chris is a Lead Modeller at Frame Store, one of the biggest VFX companies in the world (the only company who is licensed to produce Marvel films). Frame Store has won Scientific and Technical Academy Awards, BAFTAs, an Oscar and many other major awards including Cannes Lions, British Television Advertising Awards, Clios and D&AD. Chris is from Chelmsford and he retrained to work in film in his 30s. He has an incredible showreel and is one of the key partners of the recently launched Chelmsford Film Festival.
Jim Harris has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to Sport and Public Services. Jim is Operations Manager for Essex Outdoors and is a popular face at the College. He is passionate about getting young people to try different outdoor activities such as archery, climbing, high ropes and paddle boarding. For the past 10 years Jim and his staff have provided opportunities for students to participate in a range of Outdoor and Adventurous Activities at Essex Outdoors in Harlow. He’s also organised, planned and instructed residential trips to the Brecon Beacons in South Wales. Jim has taught hundreds of students the value of outdoor education and helped them develop confidence in their own ability to succeed in whatever they put their mind to.
Thank you to everyone involved in making our Celebration Week a wonderful way to mark our collective #ChelmsfordSuccess!
Photographers Sapphire Mason, Sophie Mgonigle and Alisha Ellis.