CAVC honours student success at its Annual Awards Evening

8 October 2014

Cardiff and Vale College honours student success stories at its 2014 Annual Awards Evening

Cardiff and Vale College showcased the hard work and success of its learners with a glittering award evening in Cardiff Bay this week.

The College took over the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay for its third Annual Awards Evening. The event attracted nearly 400 attendees from across the spectrum of local business, education providers and the community where 19 students plus the College’s partner organisations were recognised for their efforts and contribution to College life.

The Awards Evening began with a drinks reception with music from a Jazz trio where Art & Design, Automotive Engineering and Hairdressing students gave demonstrations of their work.  Then guests were treated to a three course meal and awards presentation on the WMC’s main stage. The awards ceremony was hosted by CAVC alumni and BBC Wales presenter Jason Mohammad.

This year also saw a special gift for guests; wooden coasters made by Timber Thinkers. Set up and run by CAVC Carpentry students, Timber Thinkers makes wooden products from sustainable sources to raise money for veterans of the Welsh Armed Forces.

Celebrating the achievements of the 2013-14 academic year [see full list of winners below], the awards also illustrated the benefits of choosing a Further Education college such as CAVC. All of the students recognised have progressed on to university courses, the next level at College or within their careers. Cardiff and Vale College

Principal and Chief Executive Mike James said: “I offer my hearty congratulations to all of our award winners. It has been fantastic to celebrate all of their achievements.

“The Annual Awards are a great reminder of the impact learning has and the opportunities it can create. It also reminds me what a privilege it is to be working in our exciting College.”

Winners included Eurofoods founder Shelim Hussain MBE, who won the College’s Alumni Award. Shelim, who establised up his first business while studying at the College, said he was both surprised and honoured to receive the award.

Luke Mayor, a 20-year-old electrical apprentice from Dinas Powys, won the Principal’s Award for best reflecting the College’s values through achievement, attitude and participation in extracurricular activities. Luke started off at CAVC on a School Link taster course before progressing on to the full-time engineering programme, Pathways to Apprenticeship course then an apprenticeship with employment at Scenic Services in Newport.

During his time at College Luke has won the Welsh regional heats to Welsh final of the WorldSkills competition, and will represent the College at the UK WorldSkills finals next month. He has also won Welsh regional heat of Sparks UK’s Apprentice of the Year in 2014, before going on to win Sparks UK National Apprentice of the Year.

“I’m over the moon about winning this award – a couple of years ago I would never have thought that I would have achieved this much,” Luke said.  “I’m really proud of myself.”

Luke admitted that he had to be “pushed” when he first came to CAVC, but added that his tutor Geoff Shaw was an inspiration. “If it wasn’t for a tutor like Geoff that can encourage a student and see their potential then all of this would never have happened,” he explained.

“I want to follow in my grandfather’s footsteps and become a self-employed electrician. But I don’t want to run into that straight away – I want to get experience of working with other people, working for other organisations and even working abroad first. Then I will have the experience to go self-employed.”

Another winner was 37-year-old Bismwa Gwom from Cardiff. Bismwa helped set up, and now manages, a pop-up hair and beauty salon in Ely called Inspire thanks to a £15,000 grant from the FE Pioneers scheme to encourage young people to set up social enterprises.

“I feel hugely honoured to win this award,” Bismwa said. “I feel blessed.

“College has been an amazing experience for me. In 2011 I would never have believed I would be here today. I have achieved a lot and I am really, really happy. I put it all down to all the great tutoring and the amazing support from the tutors. I would like to thank them all.

“Right now I’m managing the Inspire salon. Hopefully I can build that business and make it successful and then open another in a different deprived area of Cardiff. When people came in to the Ely salon first they were a little bit suspicious of the low prices but now they are really impressed by the service and we would like to offer that to another area of Cardiff.”

Nineteen-year-old Cameron Patterson from Barry won the A Levels Award. Cameron moved to Barry from China and is a fluent Mandarin speaker who helped out with the College’s Chinese winter and summer schools and when teachers from other institutions came to visit.

Cameron gained excellent GCSE and A Level results at the College and has now progressed to university.

“I am very proud to have won this award – I have come down from university just for today to receive it,” Cameron said.

“I thought my time in College was fantastic. I loved all of the tutors and I have made life-long friends. I did things, like the Duke of Edinburgh Award, that I didn’t think I would ever do and I have achieved everything that I wanted to achieve.

“I’m at university now and I would like to go and work for an energy company in Norway because I love Norway. I want to work in a job that involves physics and chemistry.”

The Creative Industries Award went to Craig Morris, 36 and from Cardiff. The Foundation Degree in Film student was heavily involved in the College’s learning company, The Film Co.hort, making corporate videos for Coca Cola, the Wales Millennium Centre, Literature Wales and others. Since successfully completing his course he has carried on with the running of the Film Co.hort and has set up his own production company – all despite returning to education after 15 years travelling and having never worked in film before starting at CAVC.

“I’m overjoyed – it’s mainly down to my tutors Paul Mallison and Sian Chandler: without them I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” Craig said. “I had never picked up a camera before but they saw the spark in me and nurtured it.

“I thoroughly enjoyed myself at College. I wasn’t sure at first because I was a mature student so I was a bit reluctant but I connected very well with the tutors. Any job that came up I jumped at the chance and it has been the best education I have ever had.

“I’m now helping to run The Film Co.hort, the College’s film company and I have opened my own production company. I want to continue making films – making feature length films would be fantastic. Channel 4 and the BBC have shown interest and they have asked me to develop some ideas. I’m also doing corporate films businesses locally and further afield.”

Angel Romaeo, a 17-year-old Level 2 Sport student from Cardiff, adds the CAVC Sport and Public Services Award to the Bronze Medal she won for Artistic Gymnastics earlier this year at the Commonwealth Games. Angel combined studying and her gym work, arriving early and taking extra classes to ensure she was ahead of her studies.

 “My time at College was actually really good,” Angel said. “The teachers were very supportive about my doing gymnastics and the different requirements that involved.

“The Commonwealth Games was very exciting; the best thing I have ever done in my life. When we went to the Commonwealth Games I had no expectation of getting anywhere. Artistic Gymnastics is not really something that Wales wins awards for so to get Bronze was the best thing ever.

“At the moment I’m not going to College – I’m taking a couple of years out to focus on my gymnastics, maybe to go to another Commonwealth Games or maybe the Olympics. Then hopefully after that I will progress on to the Level 3 Sport course and get some qualifications.”

The College’s Entrepreneurship Award went to Emma Nicolaou. The 29-year-old Beauty Therapy student from Barry led a team that won the UK-wide enterprise competition Market Maker 2013 with Chameleon Nails, a bespoke nail colouring service. Emma is now self-employed, running a salon on Barry High Street.

“I’m very excited that I’ve won an award and I’m amazed by all of this that the College has put on for us this evening. I’ve very happy to have won,” Emma said.

“College was very, very good and I enjoyed it. I felt very supported while I was there and the course was everything that I hoped it would be.

“Since leaving College after my course I set up my own business. It’s now in its second week of trading. My business is in the High Street of Barry catering to ladies and gentlemen, offering all different types of beauty treatments to people in the Vale of Glamorgan.”

College partner organisations UnLtd, Wales & West Utilities and Lloyds Bank were also celebrated for their innovative approach to work-based learning and efforts on behalf of the College in funding student business start-ups and supporting the CAVC Skills Academy.

A wide range of sponsors also supported the event, ensuring that the College could recognise learner achievements in style. Cardiff Met, Circle IT and Willmott Dixon were the event’s main sponsors. Others were: Kingston University, Dennis Williams, OCR, BAFTA Cymru, Wales Millennium Centre, CLSL, UK Tool Mart, Springfield, City & Guilds, CCFC Community & Education Foundation, Bodyshop Solutions, 3663, Cardiff Bus, Gocompare.com, Cardiff University and limegreentangerine.

Principal's Award winner Luke Mayor with Principal and Chief Executive Mike James

Beauty, Hair and Holistic Therapies Award winner Bismwa Gwom

 Levels and GCSEs Award winner Cameron Patterson

Creative Industries Award winner Craig Morris

Sport and Public Services Award winner and Commonwealth Bronze medallist Angel Romaeo

Entrepreneurship Award winner Emma Nicolauo

The awards ceremony took place on the main stage of the Wales Millennium Centre

Winner's Name Award Category
Cameron Patterson A Levels
Sam Bennett Aeronautical
Bismwa Gwom Beauty, Hair & Holistic Therapies
Matt Hancock Built Environment
Arron Davies Business & IT
Craig Morris Creative Industries
Carla Kondera Education & Training
Mohammad Daemi Engineering & Environment
Sion Charles Foundation Studies
Caroline Read Health, Social Care & Children's Care
Angel Romaeo Sport & Public Services
Harrison Jankovic Transport Services
Sean Harrison Travel, Tourism & Hospitality
Mary Mort Adult & Community
Amilee Louise Deeley Apprenticeship
Emma Nicolaou Entrepreneurship
Peter Griffiths Higher Education
Gareth Evans School Link
UnLtd Business & Partner
Wales & West Utilities Business & Partner
Lloyds Bank Business & Partner
Shelim Hussain MBE Alumni
Luke Mayor Principal's Award