Vocational Skills Awards A Night To Remember

Wed, 15/08/2001 - 01:00

Year 11 pupil Bethany Elders from The Academy at Shotton Hall with Actress Charlotte Riley

The East Durham Vocational Skills Awards were held on Thursday 10th May and proved a great success.

The awards, held annually, celebrate the achievements of a group of Year 10 and Year 11 school pupils who have excelled in a wide range of vocational learning categories; such as construction, motor vehicle maintenance, childcare and ICT.

St. Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School, Dene Community School, Easington Community Science School, The Academy at Shotton Hall and Wellfield Community School were all represented by award winners.

The awards ceremony was held at East Durham College’s Peterlee Campus and attended by over 250 people including many of 84 award winners, their families and staff from their local schools.

One of the special guest speakers at the event was actress and writer Charlotte Riley, originally from Grindon in County Durham and ex-lecturer at East Durham College, who is probably best known for her role as Sarah Hurst in Easy Virtue and as Catherine Earnshaw in ITV’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights.

Charlotte helped add some extra glamour to the evening and also helped to inspire the young people with the story of her career, teaching them to reconsider how they gauge and deal with success and failure.

Other dignitaries in attendance were The Chairman of Durham County Council Councillor Mr Dennis Morgan, the Deputy Leader of Durham County Council Councillor Mr Alan Napier, The Mayor of Peterlee Councillor Mr John Hardy and the Mayor of Seaham Councillor Mrs Barbara Ramshaw.

Councillor Hardy presented the Year 10 award winners with their trophies and Councillor Morgan the Year 11s.

The Student of the Year winner was announced on the night as Year 11 pupil Bethany Elders from The Academy at Shotton Hall. Bethany, 16, from Peterlee, also won the Year 11 Hairdressing award category.

East Durham College Principal Eugene McCrossan, gave a welcome speech to open the awards and said: “It’s an absolute privilege for the College to once again host these awards.

“It wonderful to celebrate the achievements of some of the most dedicated, hardworking and talented young people in the county; young people who have excelled in their chosen area of vocational learning.

“The area of East Durham is transforming and a real change is in the attitudes and aspirations of the young people of the area. The success of the young people we recognise this evening is testimony to this fact.”