Students and businesses honoured at awards

PUBLISHED: 16:31 25 July 2011

Mark Cairns, Hannah Johns and Jude Ferguson

Mark Cairns, Hannah Johns and Jude Ferguson

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STUDENTS and businesses from across Somerset gathered in Congresbury for a special awards ceremony.

Weston College’s Excellence in Business Training Awards event was held at DoubleTree by Hilton Cadbury House, on July 20, and 160 people attended.

A young musician from the town, who decided on a major career change, was presented with an outstanding achievement apprentice level 3 award.

Hannah Johns, aged 24, is a violinist with several bands, and performed at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.

But knowing a full-time career in music can be precarious, Hannah, of Clarence Park, decided to take up a Weston College-arranged apprenticeship with Weston General Hospital.

She is now a full-time executive personal assistant in the chief executive’s office, balancing her day job with regular gigging and recording.

Weston College principal, Dr Paul Phillips, said: “Hannah showed determination to complete her apprenticeship to the highest standard, despite handling an extremely busy workload, and completed her qualification two months ahead of schedule.”

Other award winners included 33-year-old Jamie Lye, from Weston.

Jamie turned his life around after a spell of drug problems and attended an IT course at the college.

He was given help to find a job and is now working at the Somerset Wood Recycling Project in Weston.

He picked up the work-focused training award at the event.

Jamie said: “Because of my past I was finding it hard to get a job but with the support of the college I found this one and it’s been great.

“I’m really enjoying it, it’s given me good experience and I hope I’ll get a good reference at the end of it.”

Businesses from across Somerset were also honoured, such as Weston Area Health Trust, Wookey Hole Caves and NSHousing.

Noah’s Ark Preschool in Weston won employer of the year award and The Hair Gallery, in the Boulevard, scooped the outstanding commitment to training award.

The evening included a three course dinner and a display of mind-reading from psychological entertainer Mark Cairns.

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