HoW College students celebrate recent Access to HE award success!

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HoW College students celebrate recent Access to HE award success!

27 May 2022

students receiving awards

Heart of Worcestershire College (HoW College) students are celebrating following the recent Access to Higher Education (HE) award success! 

The Access to HE team at HoW College recently nominated six students for the Brian May Learner Awards, in categories including ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ and ‘Commitment to Study Award’. They nominated three students for each category and then the Open College Network West Midlands selected ten students from the learners that had been put forward from different national centres. 

The six students nominated by the College were Georgina Ray, Anna Parker, Kathryn Smith, Stefan Barker, Dan Griffiths and Amber Hirons and out of these six, three were successful with HoW College students making up a 3rd of the award winners! 

HoW College is proud to announce that Amber Hirons, Kathryn Smith, Dan Griffiths were all successful and have received a Brian May Access to HE Award and £600! The winner's ceremony took place on the 10th May and was held at Dunstall Park in Wolverhampton. During the ceremony there was an introduction from the Open College Network’s CEO, Kevern Kerswell, and previous Learner Award winners also attended to share their experiences since winning their award.  

The winning students were asked about their recent achievements and commented the following: 

Kathyrn stated “I’ve really enjoyed my studies. It’s given me a lot more confidence than I did have; I was out of work for 10 years, for having children. My eldest is disabled so I stopped working to look after him. I kind of lost myself a little bit, but then realised I wanted to go back to work now he’s a bit older. So I came back, and everyone’s been supportive. They’re all very aware of the fact I’ve got children and there’s obviously more time constraints. I am now going to study Paramedic Science at Birmingham City University. When I found out I had won the award it felt like a bit of a fraud to be honest. After listening to all the stories, some people have overcome some real adversity. But I’m really honoured.   

Amber added “I found my studies better than I thought they’d be, to be honest. I was kind of scared going into it but that’s been pushed aside now, and the teachers have been really good. I’m currently enrolled on the University of Worcester course to study medical science and that wouldn’t have been possible without this course to access it. When I found out I had won this award I felt ecstatic because I never realised how much I was appreciated.  

Dan commented “The studies have been brilliant and I’ve been supported all the way through. I feel like I’ve been given all the opportunities to improve all my academic skills and I’ve come on leaps and bounds with the help of the College. Regarding my future, I’m still in two minds. I originally wanted to go into social work; go to university to do social work, but now I’m looking at Criminology, to go into Youth Offending Teams. When I found out I had been awarded this I felt proud of myself. It’s nice to get recognition for the effort that you’ve put in.” 

These are amazing achievements for the students and HoW College would like to say a huge congratulations and wish them all the best for their futures!