Learners have been rewarded for their achievements in the college classroom.
The College Ystrad Mynach held its annual awards presentation evening at Caerphilly Castle where 60 learners were honoured for their hard work over the last 12 months.
Students were presented with awards in a number of different areas including care, technology, carpentry, plumbing, sport and hairdressing.
Anna Gordine, 22 from Bedwas, won the College Basic Skills Award. Anna had been in a special needs class in school, with little opportunity for academic work. Both Anna and her family fought for her to participate in mainstream secondary education and she was finally allowed to take three GCSEs, but not English or Mathematics.
After leaving school, Anna set out to gain the qualifications and learning experience she felt she had been denied, attending a basic skills class in 2008 to enable her access a Child Care course at The College Ystrad Mynach.
She was accepted onto the course and enjoyed a rewarding year, passing all of her exams.
Her tutor Tina Huish said: “Anna is an inspiration. By looking to the future and taking control of her life she has been able to progress in her career, gain independence and has also been able to benefit from the joy of learning.”
Anna is currently studying towards her Level 3 Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning & Development and also continues to study basic skills at the college.
Anna, whose parents Kerry and Douglas were there to cheer her on at the ceremony, said: “I really didn’t think I had won. I was really, really chuffed though and it’s nice that my hard work has been recognised.”
She works part time at the nursery at Ty’n-Y-Wern Primary School in Trethomas where she is able to put her child care skills to great use. She also has a Saturday job at John Lewis in Cardiff.Anna, who has a twin brother Christian and an older sister Natalie, hopes to become a teaching assistant when she completes her studies.
Conna Johnson, 19, from Trethomas, was presented with the CACHE Level 2 Full Time Care Award. He was the only male in a group of 19.
His tutor Angela Jones said: “Conna has consistently achieved a high standard in placement and course work and always gives his all to his work. A day never passed without Conna making people feel good with his continuous smiling face.”
The awards were presented by Jeff Cuthbert, AM for Caerphilly, who was also governor of the college until May this year.As the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for Skills, he is responsible for identifying the skills needs of employers, learners and learning providers across Wales.
Mr Cuthbert told the students and their proud families and friends: “All of you here are shining examples of where combined action has achieved a common goal. We have scores of awards being celebrated and every one is very well deserved.“Only by working together will we do our best to tackle the Welsh economy’s short-term challenges head-on, but also plan for the current recovery and the future by building our long-term skills base. All of the learners here tonight will be at the heart of that journey.”
College Principal Bryn Davies said the last year had been a very busy and very successful one for the college, with students and staff working tremendously hard to achieve their goals.And he said how hugely proud he was of the award winners.
“Congratulations to you all. Each and every one of you should be proud of yourselves, for everything you have achieved over the last year,” he added.
Catering at the ceremony on Tuesday, October 18, was provided by the College’s school of catering and hospitality and the evening ended with a performance by Caerphilly Male Voice Choir.Prize sponsors included Caerphilly Rotary Club, Amazing Glazing, Beauty Express, BIIAB, Caerphilly Social Club, CR, Dry Wall Systems, Howells Coaches, Keith’s Fruit and Veg, Latham Properties, Mainline Travel, Morgan Cole, OCR, Rabart Decorators Merchants, Cottage Loaf Bakery, Thomas Morgan and Associates, UWIC and USL Audio Visual.