Preston Vocational Centre was packed to the rafters on 9th July, as students, watched on by their friends and families, came to receive their certificates and find out who had won those coveted trophies.
The evening began with a warm welcome from Centre Manager, Martin Grayston, who talked through some of the successes of the past twelve months - the 10th anniversary year, the Centre was a finalist in the BIBA Awards for the third time, a hundred students were working towards recognised qualifications and 93% of learners looked set to go on to positive destinations after they had completed their studies at PVC.
This year PVC have expanded their pre-apprenticeship range of vocational training and Martin encouraged guests to tell as many people as possible about the training on offer. He also paid special thanks to Chair Gillian Beeley, Community Gateway staff and the many schools in Lancashire who work with PVC. He said: “Tonight makes me so proud seeing the students gaining new skills and we're here to celebrate their success."
Chair Gillian Beeley then gave out the BTEC certificates to students from several schools in the area. She said: "The soul of this place is all of you who come and learn skills that will set you up for the rest of your life. It gives you choices and I am proud of each and every one of you."
Chief Executive of Community Gateway, Rob Wakefield, presented the special awards. He commended the unsung heroes - the volunteers who supported centre staff and emphasised how proud he was that Gateway was able to support an organisation which made such a huge difference to local communities.
The winners were:
- Outstanding Achievement in Plastering - Ben Naylor (Moor Park High)
- Outstanding Achievement in Brickwork - Oliver Heath (Broughton High)
- Outstanding Achievement in Carpentry and Joinery - Connor Smith (Ashton Community Science College)
- Outstanding Achievement in Painting and Decorating - Finley Gardner (Larches High)
- Outstanding Achievement in Plumbing - Kyrel Stevens
- Outstanding Achievement in Building Maintenance - Alice Eden (Moor Park High)
- Best All round (sponsored by CGA) - Byron Hartley (Larches High)
- Most Improved (sponsored by Travis Perkins)- Connor Claire (Our Lady's High School)
- Student of the Year (Manager's Award - sponsored by Conlon Construction ) - Ben Naylor (Moor Park High)
After the ceremony, guests were then able to look around the centre and see the students’ work.
A proud Grandma emailed PVC to say :
Having over the years attended many Award Evenings and Ceremonies,the Award Evening held at the Preston Vocational Centre on Tuesday 9th July 2019 was the most moving and inspiring I've ever been to. The place and staff radiated with sheer enthusiasm and pleasure that they obviously had for those lads and lassies and the work skills that they were passing onto them.The atmosphere was fantastic and the gratitude that I extend to all staff,volunteers and sponsors is immeasurable. What an opportunity you are handing down to these young folk and giving them a 'hand up' on life's path.
A student's teaching assistant said:
Big congratulations to Martin for being nominated for Community Hero Award, well deserved I think, and secondly what about our Alice getting the Outstanding Achievement Award.. I'm so proud of her. Well done to you all for the support you've shown her. You guys do a brilliant job and I for one don't think the effort and time you guys put in to the kids should be under estimated.
A local teacher, Ann said:
Just a quick message to say "Thank You" to you and the staff for all your support this last year and for the work you have completed with our pupils. They are not an easy bunch at the best of times but you all give 100% in trying to engage them and give them the best opportunities.
It's testament to your hard work and perseverance that I have so many wanting to return next year or start a new placement.