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24th June 2022

In a night filled with celebration, reflection, pride and emotion, NSCG Newcastle College’s annual Celebration Awards once again showcased the College, its students, apprentices and employer partners at their very best.

The glittering ceremony, held on Tuesday 21 June at the College’s £5.5 million Performing Arts Centre saw 41 different awards presented for outstanding contributions and successes; including dedicated sixth form awards, awards for each of the vocational subject areas offered at the College, skills & progression awards, cross college awards, apprenticeship achievement and employer recognition awards.

Keele University’s Vice-Chancellor, Trevor McMillan OBE and Hitachi Energy’s General Manager for Grid Power Systems, David Padfield joined NSCG Principal & Chief Executive, Karen Dobson OBE to make the award presentations, along with special guests including Stoke City legends Terry Conroy and Ricardo Fuller.


Throughout the evening a number of special awards were presented, including an award dedicated to Ellen Anderson, an ex-Newcastle College student, who had her own challenges to overcome in order to succeed and The George Stonier Award, dedicated to the late Chair of the Corporation for NSCG, who passed away in 2016.

The winner of the Ellen Anderson award was Daniel Hine, who joined the College four years ago and has since studied a number of courses but struggled to initially find his ‘passion’. A student with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Daniel has faced numerous communication and interaction issues, but has gone from strength-to-strength whilst studying his current course, a BTEC Level 2 in Engineering. During his course, Daniel designed and created a 3D model for the Association of Colleges ‘Love Our Colleges’ competition, which saw him win a prize and national accolades. Daniel’s new-found interest and confidence will see him leave NSCG to progress to an Engineering Apprenticeship with IAE.

The George Stonier Award winner was announced as Thomas Gray who originally joined NSCG from Blackfriars Academy and began a Life Skills Programme, completing courses in Early Years and Sport, enabling him to grow both in confidence and academically. Alongside his studies, Tom is working in the community for Port Vale Football Club, delivering PE and exercise sessions for children. Managing this, along with working as a steward at Stoke City Football Club and being a doting father to Ethan, Tom demonstrates an excellent work ethic, showing he is dedicated to achieve.

As part of the Sports Awards category, ‘Team of the Year’ was awarded to the NSCG Volleyball Squad, consisting of 29 players competing across men’s and ladies and mixed groups, with members attending up to 5 training sessions per week. Recently, the entire squad have excelled, being the first ever NSCG squad to reach the Association of Colleges (AoC) National Knockout Cup Finals in the men’s, ladies and mixed competitions, bringing home gold medals from all games.

Commenting on the evening, Karen Dobson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive at Newcastle College, said: “We were delighted to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of students, apprentices and employers at our annual Celebration Awards ceremony. Although only a small selection of students are invited to the awards, we are of course proud of the success and achievements of all of our talented, enterprising, determined and caring students who make up our entire college community. Our staff do everything they can to ensure our students thrive and achieve in their studies and ultimately go on to make a positive contribution to the lives of others in the businesses and communities in which they live and work.”

Two students were selected for the prestigious Principal’s Award. The Principal’s Award (Vocational), sponsored by Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, was won by Kayleigh Simm, whilst The Principal’s Award (Academic), sponsored by Aberystwyth University, was won by Sophie Daily-Hunt.

Former Chesterton Community Sports College student, Kayleigh is currently coming towards the end of her BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Engineering, and her passion for engineering is evident, striving to be a straight-distinction student during her time at NSCG. In a recent project, she has designed and manufactured a visual aid to assist people with hearing impairments to appreciate music, arguably being one of the most imaginative projects a NSCG engineering student has completed.

Sophie joined NSCG from Newcastle-under-Lyme School and from the outset, she has flourished in her A Level studies and is set to achieve top grades, hopefully enabling her to take up a well-deserved place at King’s College, Cambridge to study English.