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Grantham College students shine at annual awards night





Students have been recognised for their achievements and contributions at a recent ceremony.

Grantham College’s Students Awards Evening on June 20 celebrated excellence with over 30 presentations to students and staff.

The evening was inaugurated by Paul Deane, principal and chief executive of Grantham College, who outlined the institution's commitment to workforce training through apprenticeships and new technologies.

Student of the Year Alice Heaton. Photo: Supplied
Student of the Year Alice Heaton. Photo: Supplied

He praised students' hard work and highlighted initiatives to support employee engagement.

Mr Deane told the audience: “Our focus tonight is the hard work, commitment and determination demonstrated by students who really need no support and encouragement.”

The event also featured guest speakers such as Jacqui Hanbury, founder of The Pathway Communication Company and the UK’s first female apprentice at Philips.

All the award winners. Photo: Daniel Jaines
All the award winners. Photo: Daniel Jaines

Jacqui shared her journey from struggling in college to becoming a pioneering female apprentice. She recalled feeling out of her depth but credited supportive teachers for her success.

Due to her spirit, Jacqui climbed the ranks, and her career has seen her travel the world, challenging sexist attitudes and coaching businesses worldwide.

“I’d like to ask you to say yes to opportunities,” she told students. “If I hadn’t said yes to the opportunities and roles I’ve had, I wouldn’t be where I am today; I wouldn’t have the experience.”

Paul Dean, the principle, speaking at the awards ceremony. Photo: Supplied
Paul Dean, the principle, speaking at the awards ceremony. Photo: Supplied

She advised students to have no regrets but to learn from their past, pick themselves up and move forward.

Speakers emphasised the importance of learning new skills and not being afraid to try different paths.

Another notable speaker was Gavin Evans, former Grantham College table tennis coach and current head of performance development for Table Tennis England.

More than 30 students collected awards. Photo: Supplied
More than 30 students collected awards. Photo: Supplied

Gavin is preparing the national teams for the Paris Olympics and appeared by a pre-recorded video.

He discussed his career journey in sports coaching and development, from his start in coaching table tennis 17 years ago. He then coached at a high-performance level for three companies, discussing the challenges of coaching elite athletes, including overcoming injury setbacks.

He emphasised that the journey is more important than results and talked about opportunities to change sports for the next 60 years through coaching.

Each student was invited on stage to collect their awards. Photo: Supplied
Each student was invited on stage to collect their awards. Photo: Supplied

“You can be the CEO of an educational establishment or a PhD student at Cambridge, whatever you want to be you can, but you have to remember that… the most important thing is believing that you can take the next step,” he said.

“As long as you take that next step, and you talk to people and network, you understand what that journey looks like and what steps you need to put in place to be where you need to be.”

The overall student of the year was Alice Heaton, praised for her keen eye for detail, clean work, competence and confidence.

Guest Speaker Jacqui Hanbury. Photo: Supplied
Guest Speaker Jacqui Hanbury. Photo: Supplied

Sponsors for the evening were Cummins, Pilgrim’s and McCain.



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