News & Press
Claire Lomas MBE - the first and only paralysed person to walk the London Marathon - honoured Uxbridge College students and employer partners for their achievements at a moving awards ceremony.
Dubbed the ‘bionic woman’ by media because she completed the 2012 marathon in a pioneering ReWalk robotic suit, Claire presented awards to winners chosen from amongst the College’s full-time and part-time learners and its employer partners.
Winners included Michael Lawless, who was made overall winner with the Super Star Award. Michael (19), who is now on his way to Hertfordshire University to study Animation, was chosen for his fantastic attitude, brilliant artistic skills, constant dedication to improving, and commitment to overcoming challenges. He progressed from the Level 2 Game Design & Animation, to the Level 3 in Game Design at Uxbridge College, achieving top Distinction grades despite medical problems. Among his work is an ident - a short sequence used on television to identify a channel or company - which he has created for Straw Cat Productions. Michael hopes to go on and work as a Games Designer.
Claire is paraplegic - paralysed from the chest down but able to use her arms - after a horse riding accident, but in 2012 she became the first and only paralysed person to walk the London Marathon, which took her 17 days and raised £210,000 for Spinal Research. She also made headlines when she was banned from the Vitality London 10k race after organisers said UK Athletics rules prohibited the use of motors, but was later allowed to take part unofficially. She lit the Paralympic cauldron in Trafalgar Square in 2012, has raised more than £500,000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation, has written and published her autobiography Finding My Feet, takes part in motorbike racing using only hand controls, and was made an MBE this year.
Principal of Uxbridge College, Laraine Smith OBE, said: “Our Annual Awards event was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our students and employer partners, and we would like to say a huge thank you to Claire Lomas for coming along to present the awards. Claire’s story shows exactly how far courage, determination and hard work can get you and the same applies to those honoured by awards this year at Uxbridge College’s ceremony. And whilst many of our award winners have succeeded with high grades in academic and work-related training, it is also their personal stories that give their achievements such meaning. Congratulations to everyone who has received awards this year.”
The event, held at The Beck Theatre in Hayes, recognised winners from across the College’s academic and vocational programmes - including GCSEs, A Levels, BTEC qualifications, Apprenticeships and HNDs - and from among the 1,000 employers the College works with.
Star and Special Award winners were:
Star Award (Sponsored by Chartwells): Khadeejah Usmani
The Gavin Taylor Bursary Award – Winner: Lidia Yemani
The Gavin Taylor Bursary Award – Highly Commended: Remica Asokrenithas
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Star Award (Sponsored by M4Money Credit Union): Weronika Gogol
Higher Education Award: Ciara Maloney
SCHOOL OF COMPUTING & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Star Award: Jacek Bandurski
Higher Education Award: Vitali Andrusiak
SCHOOL OF CREATIVE STUDIES & ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
Super Star Award (Sponsored by Lloyds Banks, Commercial) and Creative Studies Star Award: Michael Lawless
English Language Teaching Star Award: Maimouna Dillo
Ian Hebditch Award: Nathan Morgan
SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING (Mechanical & Electronics)
Star Award: Karan Aulakh
Higher Education Award (Sponsored by Brunel University London): Fahad Mahmood
SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING (Technology & Innovation)
Star Award (Sponsored by Nexen Petroleum UK Limited): Abeer Gulzar
SCHOOL OF HAIR, BEAUTY, HOSPITALITY AND EARLY YEARS
Star Award (Sponsored by Dennis Williams Ltd): Bisma Chistie
The Comfort Simoyan Award (Sponsored by Dennis Williams Ltd): Hodan Hassan
SCHOOL OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE & FOUNDATION STUDIES
Health & Social Care Star Award (Sponsored by Buckinghamshire New University): Maryan Ibrahim
Foundation Studies Star Award: James Connors
SCHOOL OF SPORT, TRAVEL AND PUBLIC SERVICES
Star Award: Rianna Dean
Higher Education Award: Savannah Ammitzboll
David Keating Memorial Award: Keerthisha Maknus
EMPLOYERS AND APPRENTICES
Intermediate Apprentice Award (Sponsored by the Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce): Olivia Giger
Advanced Apprentice Award (Sponsored by the Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce): Emily Lloyd
Apprentice Employer Award: TMD Technologies Ltd
Work Experience Employer Award: Barclays Bank - Southall
Teacher Education Award: Richard Scott
Uxbridge and Harrow Colleges will work together to provide the best opportunities to students while keeping their individual names and campuses. The Colleges are now officially part of the same organisation but will keep their current identities as well as continuing to run the majority of their current courses for the foreseeable future.
The merger of the two Colleges into a single legal entity has taken place in order to maximise future opportunities for students, employers and local communities, through a combination of preserving current provision, and pooling resources and expertise to develop education and training.
Group Principal and CEO Laraine Smith and Principal and Deputy CEO Pat Carvalho said: “This exciting partnership was identified by both Harrow College and Uxbridge College’s governing bodies as the best way forward for our local communities. Both Colleges are very pleased to be able to maintain their current identities and the bulk of their current courses, as well as to be enhancing provision on an ongoing basis by pooling resources and expertise. We believe this merger will result in a financially resilient and sustainable college group, allowing us to continue to meet the needs of our students, employers and the communities we serve.”
While Uxbridge College and Harrow College will continue to operate as individual Colleges serving their local and regional communities, the Uxbridge College Corporation (the Governing Body), which now oversees the running of both Colleges, has been renamed HCUC to reflect the enlarged remit of serving Uxbridge and Harrow Governors following the 1st August 2017 merger.
A student who chose to attend Uxbridge College despite having to make a daily commute of four hours is celebrating top results after sitting his GCSEs in one year.
Yamen Badran (18) (pictured), who lives in Morden in Surrey, was this year’s highest achiever in The Academy, Uxbridge College’s sixth form centre, after gaining A* grades in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and a C in English. College students, who normally take five GCSEs in one year rather than the higher number of exams sat in school over two years, will be moving on to the reformed system of GCSE grades next year, which uses numbers rather than letters in its grading system, with a few exceptions starting this year.
The College is one of relatively few offering full-time one year GCSE programmes, for students who are taking resits, or doing GCSEs for the first time because they have been home-schooled or recently arrived in the UK. The study programme offers a springboard to A Levels or vocational qualifications and ultimately to university or into a broad range of careers.
Yamen, who came to the UK from Syria two years ago, is now enrolling on A Levels in Maths, Physics and Chemistry at Uxbridge College and intends to go on to university to study Aeronautical Engineering.
Yamen said: “I am very happy, I studied hard for four hours a day and am very pleased with my results. My teachers were always there to help even after class or if I had extra questions or a problem.”
This year 58% of Academy students achieved A*-C grades, with 98% passing at grades A*-G.
Amanda Washbrook, Head of The Academy, said: “Congratulations to all our students on the GCSE programme for their hard work and excellent achievements - their results are extremely pleasing and it is good to see how many intend to continue their studies with us. There are not that many Colleges which offer the one-year GCSE programme which leads to a unique range of progression opportunities in education and careers. Successful GCSE students often stay on at College to do A Levels and then go to university, they may do vocational qualifications such as BTECs, or take up work-related opportunities.”
Also among the top performers were:
* Maimuna Islam (17), who got grade As in Statistics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics and a B in English, and is staying at Uxbridge College to take A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Maths. She aims to study Medicine at University.
* Kasey Smith (23), who got A* grades in English and Media Studies, a 7/A in English Literature, a B in Sociology and a C in Maths. Kasey is enrolling at Uxbridge College to study English, Politics and History, and wants to do a degree in Creative Writing. He worked in retail after leaving school before deciding to return to education to improve his life opportunities.
* Puneet Kaur Grewal (17), who got A* grades in Maths and Physics, As in Biology and Chemistry, and a B in English. She will be taking A Levels at Uxbridge College and plans to study a Maths-related subject at university.
* Syeda Kunzal Imaan (17), who achieved an A* in Chemistry, A grades in Biology and Physics, and Bs in Maths and English. Syeda is also planning to study A Levels at Uxbridge College and hopes to do a degree in Physics.
* Andrew Lubega (18), who achieved A grades in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and Bs in English and Maths. Andrew, who studied Engineering and Electronics for a year at Uxbridge College before progressing to his GCSEs, is due to stay on to study A Levels in Physics, Chemistry and Maths and wants to study Aeronautical Engineering at university.
* Sameen Ahmed (18), who got A*s in Biology and Physics, A grades in Maths and Chemistry, and a B in English.