East Durham Vocational Skills Awards 2009

The annual East Durham Vocational Skills Awards 2009 were held on Thurs 7th May at the stunning new East Durham College, Peterlee Campus.

The event was attended by over 200 people, including award winners, their families, teaching staff from all the local schools, Governors, the Deputy Mayor Peterlee Chris Metcalfe and other dignitaries. There were also over 50 pupils and students involved in providing the superb entertainment for the evening.

The vocational awards ranged from Applied Business and Horticulture to Catering and Brickwork. There were over 70 award winners across the Year 10 and Year 11 categories. St. Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School, Dene Community School of Technology, Easington Community Science School, Glendene School and Community Arts College, Seaham School of Technology, Shotton Hall School and Wellfield Community Schools a Specialist Maths and Computing College were all represented with winners.

Student of the Year 2009 was announced on the night as Stacey Taylor from Wellfield School. Stacey was the first girl from the school to do the Young Apprenticeship in construction. She is the only girl in the group but has not allowed that to phase her and from day one has excelled and is on target to get a distinction. Not only has she excelled on the construction course but she is also on target to achieve As and Bs in most of her GCSE subjects. She was in fact recently invited to apply for an Apprenticeship in Architectural Engineering with Laing O’Rourke and was offered a place even before taking the entry tests.

Her teachers described her as ‘a fantastic girl who tries hard at everything’, ‘a pleasure to teach’ and ‘absolutely brilliant’.

A highlight of the evening was the awards being presented by well known actress Jennie McAlpine. Jennie best known as Fiz from ITV’s Coronation Street said ‘It was wonderful to be invited to present the awards. I always like to be involved with initiatives that involve young people and celebrate their success, often in the face of adversity. I hope I will get some pointers from these fantastic pupils to pass on to our Ches!’.