More than 200 people gathered for the annual Derby College Peak Awards at the historic Roundhouse to celebrate the achievements of students across the organisation.
Awards were presented by representatives of local businesses who had sponsored individual awards.
Two special prizes were awarded on the night – Student of the Year and Apprentice of the Year.
Student of the Year was Lauren Hudson (18) from Matlock who has studied Health and Social Care at the College after attending Highfields School.
Lauren will leave College this summer with a Distinction star and has completed several placements including at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where she was also a member of the Employer Academy to give her a greater insight into the career opportunities available across the organisation.
She has accepted a place at the University of Birmingham to study Children’s Nursing and said after the Peak Awards: “I am really honoured to have won Student of the Year. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Derby College. Staff are very supportive but give you the freedom to learn independently which will better prepare me for university study.”
Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Amber Nicholson (22) from Chaddesden who is an Engineering apprentice with AESSEAL in Derby - part of a global company specialising in mechanical seals and support systems.
AESSEAL General Manager Andy Stoney said: “We are so proud of Amber’s achievements. She has taken all the opportunities presented to her and goes above and beyond – including taking on the full-time CAD role at the company.”
Employer of the Year was presented to FlowerWorld which is part of Morrisons and has an expanding floristry manufacturing plant in Derby. The company has worked with Derby College to develop an innovative apprenticeship programme for current staff and new recruits and is committed to offering 20 apprenticeships every year for the foreseeable future.
Other award winners included:
Academic Studies award winner Blade Rumfitt (18) from Belper who has studied A level Maths, Further Maths and Physics. He gained a silver award at this year’s National UK Senior Maths challenge and is now planning to go to Newcastle University to study the subject.
The Construction award went to Electrical Installation student Connor Reeve (18) from Alvaston who, as achieving on the study programme, has helped staff build test rigs and re-arrange the workshop.
Equine student Catherine Putnam (18) from Ilkeston won the Animal Science award in recognition of her success on work placements and commitment to extra industry-related training. She now plans to study Equine Bioveterinary Science at the University of Wales Aberystwyth.
Former Ecclesbourne School pupil Hannah Murfin (18) from Duffield won the Business award having achieved triple distinction stars in her study programme and being a member of the HUUB Marketing and Product Development Employer Academy. She will be studying Digital Marketing at the University of Derby this September.
Computing student Tanya Lawton (19) from Bradley near Ashbourne won the Digital Communication Award and will be returning to College to further her studies on the higher education programme.
Former Heanor Gate Science College student Charley Steeples (18) from Heanor won the Engineering award. He recently completed a work placement at Rolls-Royce plc and has his sights set on university or an apprenticeship when he leaves College next summer.
The Enterprise award went to Romanian-born Toni-Denis Tanase (19) from Derby who has been part of the Academy supporting students with their entrepreneurial plans and has set up his own digital marketing company whilst studying GCSEs at the College.
Kathryn Law (16) from Woodville has combined a Games Development study programme with A level Maths with her work highly praised by visiting lecturers from the University of Derby. She plans to study Computer Games Design at university after finishing College next summer.
Tommi Graville (17) from Ashbourne Lewis Poyser (20) from Doveridge took the winner and highly commended honours in the Motor Vehicle Award.
Full-time student Tommi was recognised for his high grades and outstanding work ethic and Lewis for his high standards of workmanship as an apprentice at Doveridge Garage in Ashbourne.
Floristry student Katie Haslam (17) from Old Whittingham, Chesterfield, has secured an apprenticeship at a florist after completing work experience there and won the Plant Science award in recognition of her commitment to the study programme.
The Professional Construction award went to Ethan Gaunt (18) from Alvaston who impressed directors at Jackson Purdue Lever engineering design consultants so much on his work placement that he now works there part time and will join in a full time role this summer.
Jacob Hawker (19) from West Hallam won the Public Services award having completed the highest amount of work experience hours this year on a wide range of events. He returns to College in September and has applied to join the Wilson James Aviation and Security Academy to gain even more experience in the security industry.
The Service Sector award went to Niaz Stephenson (18) from Arboretum in Derby who has progressed onto the net found of the World Skills competition in theatrical, special effects hair and media make up and has designed make up for several carnivals. He is now planning to continue his learning journey at University College Birmingham.
The Teacher Training award went to mature learner Donna Bruce from Heanor who is a higher level teaching assistant at St Andrew’s Special School working with children and young people with diverse physical and emotional needs. She now plans to do a Foundation Degree at Derby College.
The Higher Education award went to mature learner Kayleigh Hoolan from Derby who has been studying on the Foundation Degree in Construction Management whilst working at Bowmer & Kirkland in progressive roles and currently in the buying department.
And the pre-16 award was presented to Aditi Singh (16) - a pupil at The Bemrose School who has been on the Young Apprentice programme delivered jointly by Rolls-Royce and Derby College. She now plans to study A levels before looking for a higher level apprenticeship in Engineering.
Derby College Chief Executive Mandie Stravino said: “The Peak Awards is the highlight of the College year.
“It is amazing showcase of young people who are now well prepared for the next stage of their lives – whether that the world of work, higher education or to start their own business.
“Furthermore, the success of adult learners who are progressing in their careers through further and higher education opportunities at the College has also been a true inspiration to us all.”