Outstanding and inspirational students from New City College were honoured at the annual Student Achievement Awardsceremony on Wednesday.
Former professional footballer and now TV personality, Alex Scott MBE, was the special guest at the virtual presentation which was streamed live from the TV studios at NCC’s Ardleigh Green campus in Hornchurch, and was watched on the night by hundreds of people.
The celebratory evening paid tribute to excellence and to those students who had achieved beyond expectation and despite adversity.
There were many inspirational stories of hard work, resilience and dedication, as well as heart-lifting accounts of journeys by some who started at the bottom but climbed to the top with an unwavering determination to succeed.
One of the highlights of the evening was a Q&A session with ex-England footballer Alex Scott, who answered questions put to her by Sport students Eve Pearson and Esha Bhullar, who are studying on the Tottenham Hotspur Football Development Programme run at the college.
Alex spoke about overcoming challenges and pushing beyond your comfort zone, emphasising how life lessons, experience and personal attributes should work alongside the skills developed during education.
College alumni, including Masterchef: The Professionals semi-finalist Victor Okunowo, comedian and TV star Sara Pascoe, Olympic volleyball player Peter Bakare, entrepreneur Jack Oxley, Medical Clinician Jon Hayton and Sport England Governance Manager Joy Johnston, recorded messages of congratulations for the award-winning students and urged them to never give up and take every opportunity they were given.
The evening also included an entertaining dance performance from students studying Performing Arts at Havering.
The Awards Host was Miranda Gay, Senior Safeguarding and Enrichment Manager at Hackney campus, and the testimonialswere led by NCC Principals Alison Arnaud, Paul Wakelingand Janet Smith. CEO and Group Principal Gerry McDonald and NCC Corporation members presented the evening’s five special awards.
The winning students received a certificate, glass trophy and an awards party box containing popcorn, sweets, a programmeand party poppers – so they could watch the event at home in style. The boxes were also a big hit with sponsors, guests andVIPs, featuring on their Twitter feeds throughout the ceremony.
Sponsors of the event, including headline sponsor Ashe and gold sponsor the University of East London, along with Caterlink, Outdoor Advertising, Marick, Daisy, Blue Sky systems, Printville and Printech, also received a special memento award designed and created by talented Engineering students, under the guidance of Deputy Curriculum Director,Sunny Bamra.
CEO and Group Principal, Gerry McDonald, said: “Our awards event was a superb showcase of achievements from across New City College during the most interesting and challenging of years. Events like this are so important to show the world what we do as a college and the online format allowed just that. Congratulations again to all student winners and thank you to every student and staff member who together make New City College such an incredible organisation filled with hope, resilience and success.”
Epping Forest District Councillor Stephen Murray, who has taught in secondary schools for 40 years, said: “Many of my former students have excelled in courses at New City CollegeEpping campus, so I very much enjoyed watching the wonderful awards evening which reflected the quality of the students and the excellent curriculum and opportunities available to them at NCC.
“I was totally blown away by the award winners, their achievements and their contributions to their respective local communities.”
Samantha Hayward, mother of double award winner Miles Hayward, who attends the Havering campus, said: “It was a wonderful evening. The live-stream meant that the whole family were able to watch and enjoy it. Even Miles’ Nan, who has been unwell and in bed, was able to see it and it really made her smile. We are so grateful to New City College for all the hard work that went into this virtual presentation evening.”
Havering campus twins Elijah and Marcus Chiemeke-Eneso, 18, from Ilford, who won two awards – Contribution to College Life and Student Ambassadors of the Year – said: “We have never won an award in our lives so this is a dream come true. We were so proud and happy that Alex Scott presented the award to us. It was quite emotional and even our brother in Finland was able to watch. We love the college and are really grateful to NCC.”
Click here to watch a recording of the awards evening.