(Pictured) James Herriot Award winner Natalie Usher and James Herriot Foundation Education Officer Michael Fram

Prestigious College Animal Care Award Renamed

(Pictured) James Herriot Award winner Natalie Usher and James Herriot Foundation Education Officer Michael Fram.

An East Durham College student has received a prestigious college award which has been renamed in honour of a famed veterinary surgeon.

Natalie Usher, 22, from Crook, was honoured with the award in a ceremony at the College’s Houghall Campus along with over 100 of her peers from the College’s Animal Care department.

The award won by Natalie, originally named the Houghall Veterinary Nurse of the Year Award, has this year been renamed as The James Herriot Foundation Award in Veterinary Nursing, after the organisation kindly came forward to sponsor the award from this year onwards.

Michael Fram, Education Officer at the James Herriot Foundation, was delighted to be a part of the whole celebration and hopes the connection between the College and the Thirsk-based Foundation continues to grow.

Michael said: “We have worked with staff and students from the College on various things over the years and we really wanted to do something with the College to celebrate that connection.

“It’s fantastic to be a part of this celebration, and to have the James Herriot Foundation name connected with such a prestigious award at the College is brilliant.”

Natalie, who currently has a full time job as a veterinary nurse assistant at Vets4Pets, couldn’t believe she had won but was proud to be the first recipient of The James Herriot Award.

Natalie said: “It was a huge surprise when my name was announced, I still can’t believe I have won the award.

“I have loved every minute of my time here at Houghall and will leave extremely proud after picking up this award.”

The awards take place each year to celebrate the hard work by students across a number of different courses in the animal care department at the College.

Awards were handed out to celebrate a number of different categories, looking at things such as the performance by students on their courses, performance by students on their work experience placements and awards for different specific subject areas within Animal Care.

Assistant Programme Leader in Animal Studies at East Durham College, Ian Hall added: “All the students have put in some really great work this year and all deserve the awards and qualifications they have received.

“I can’t wait to see those students returning in September, and to the students who are leaving I’m sure they will go on to achieve great things.”

Check out the website for more information on Animal Care courses or call the student services team on 0191 375 4710.