Derbyshire students celebrate at Derby College's Peak Awards

Student of the Year was James Whitchurch and Apprentice of the Year Ellie Ball with Mandie Stravino.
Student of the Year was James Whitchurch and Apprentice of the Year Ellie Ball with Mandie Stravino.

Students from Alfreton and Ilkeston shone at Derby College's annual awards event.

The college's Peak Awards were held at Derby Roundhouse recognised students' hard work and achievements over the past year.

The winners celebrate.

The winners celebrate.

Student of the Year was James Whitchurch, 21, from Ilkeston, who has studied engineering at since he was 16.

He gained an apprenticeship at Train FX – returning to college on day release - and has gone onto complete an engineering degree at the Roundhouse and finish his apprenticeship – securing a full-time role at the company.

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Apprentice of the Year was awarded to Ellie Ball, 22, from Alfreton, in recognition of her achievements through an advanced apprenticeship in supported teaching and learning at St Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy.

She works with visual and physically impaired students. As a full time member of staff, she will be continuing her studies at degree level in rehabilitation and mobility.

Other award winners included Luke Johnson,19, who works for Darley Abbey Construction and attends the Ilkeston Community College on day release, was presented with the construction award.

Countryside Management student Daisy Fretwell, 20, who has studied at Broomfield Hall Land-based and Leisure College, won the plant science award in recognition of her commitment to work placements.

Former Ecclesbourne School pupil George Barwick, 19, from Belper won the professional construction award and will be studying architectural technology at the University of Derby.

Professional cookery student Tom Gibbs, 17, from Ripley, who has been based at the college’s Engine Shed restaurant won the service sector award. He has gained employment at Denby Pottery Visitor Centre to help create a fine dining offer.

Derby College chief executive Mandie Stravino said: “The Peak Awards is the highlight of the College year and is even more special as we approach the ten year anniversary of the opening of the Roundhouse college.

“It is amazing showcase of young people who are now well prepared for the next stage of their lives – whether that the world of work, higher education or to start their own business.

“Furthermore, the success of adult learners who are progressing in their careers through further and higher education opportunities at the College has also been a true inspiration to us all.”