Students from The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) have been recognised for their outstanding achievements at this year’s Student STAR Awards.
This year the categories for the awards were based on The Group’s values: Can do, Caring, Celebrating, Consistent, Connected, Courageous and Creative. Each category saw three candidates shortlisted from hundreds of nominations, with the winners each receiving a trophy and a cheque, and the runners-up receiving a certificate of commendation.
The Student of the Year award went to Business Administration apprentice Ben Mailes. Ben has suffered with cerebral palsy since birth which has left him with no speech. Despite being unable to speak, Ben is currently an apprentice with Cornwall Council and is excelling in his studies.
Ben was delighted to win the award: “I was surprised but very pleased. I was offered a place at university, but decided that being an apprentice was better for me. It is good be able to study and get qualifications whilst working and getting paid. Cornwall Council have been great employers, I have several roles including data analysis, general administration and finance. I’m working with 2 brilliant teams – they have supported me and looked past my disabilities. They have also allowed me to volunteer with the Council and NHS, helping children with speech difficulties.”
Ben’s tutor at the College describes him as “an incredible and inspirational young man who does not let anything get the better of him. Ben has a fabulous sense of humour and takes every opportunity that arises. The council are so impressed with his performance that they have offered him a Level 3 apprenticeship. Ben will start this once he comes back from a month backpacking around Australia!”
In another category, Katie Bellman, who is studying a foundation degree in Marine Conservation at Cornwall College Newquay, won the Caring award. Lecturer Bex Allen nominated Katie for the award. She said: “Katie is a dedicated student in terms of her academic work and her volunteering, she is committed to the marine environment and cares about all the wildlife and the people that use it. She is dedicated to making the coast safer through education of the beach users at events and workshop. She is active in raising funds and awareness about the plight of marine animals through her work with the Cornwall Seal Group, including running a sponsored 10K race dressed as a seal! Overall, Katie is a positive individual who encourages others with her enthusiasm, creating a caring environment.”
Sponsors for the event included Niddocks Ltd. Redrow Homes, Truroian, Headforwards, Plymouth University, Cornwall College Business, Duchy Health Charity, Cornwall by Kernow and Domino’s Pizza.
Principal and Chief Executive for The Cornwall College Group Raoul Humphreys said: “Our annual STAR Awards ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the incredible achievements of our students, recognising the growth of high achievers from across The Cornwall College Group.
“While every student’s story is unique, they all share some important traits, those of commitment, endeavour and character. You will hear stories of students blossoming through their studies, shrinking violets transforming into confident and engaging members of the community. There are inspirational young people who have overcome incredible adversity to not only succeed, but excel in their work and lives” continued Raoul.
“But the roots of their success are found in the support provided by their families, friends and the incredible staff at The Cornwall College Group. Many of our winners have said they would not be here this evening without the unrivalled support and dedication of their tutors.
“While this is the culmination of a great deal of hard work for our students, it is just the beginning of their adventures into the wider world and we wish them all the success in the world. They are all winners and impeccable ambassadors for The Cornwall College Group.”