Student Awards Event Has That Extra X Factor

Jamie Archer, of X Factor fame, was in the region last night to perform and present the awards at the annual East Durham Vocational Skills Awards 2010.

The awards event was held at East Durham College’s, Peterlee Campus and attended by over 200 people including the 64 award winners, their families, teaching staff from local schools, the College Governors, Chris Metcalfe the Mayor of Peterlee and other dignitaries.

Jamie Archer said: “I’m delighted to be here to take part in your awards event and congratulations to all of tonight’s winners.

“Whatever route you decide to take to get to where you want to be, remember it’s really important to believe in yourself and be positive. With hard work and dedication you will make it. Keep believing”

The awards were for Year 10 and Year 11 pupils who had excelled in a wide range vocational learning categories from Hairdressing to Performing Arts, from Construction to Health & Social Care.

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 by award winners.

Each year it becomes harder to choose an overall winner for Student of the Year.  From all the nominations the panel shortlisted three very worthy candidates including runners up Craig Luck from Glendene School and Rachel Hunt from Shotton Hall.

The winner was announced on the night as Year 10 pupil Louis Dowse from Easington School. Louis, aged 15 and from Peterlee, who also won the Youth Project category, won the top honour for his superb efforts in catering.

Louis was not achieving to his full potential, however Easington School were confident that if he could find the right course he would flourish. With the help of East Durham College’s Youth Project Team he enrolled on a catering course and it has become evident that he has found his true vocation.

He has shown a real talent for the subject and the more responsibility he is given the more he seems to thrive and he is on target to be the first student in his group to complete his qualification this academic year.

Louis has also had to overcome a number of personal upsets and difficulties.

College Principal Stuart Wesselby commented: “It was an absolute privilege for the College to once again host these awards and recognise the fantastic achievement of so many young learners.

“With commitment and effort I’m sure all the winners with be successful in the next phase of their lives.”