Staff praised at PROUD Awards

Outstanding staff at South Essex College have been recognised at an awards ceremony.

Certificates were handed out during the college’s annual staff PROUD Awards to staff who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Shortlisted nominees and winners were invited to attended the event, while the wider college community could join the event through a live stream.

Angela O’Donoghue, Principal and Chief Executive of the college, and Lois Vassell, Assistant Principal Teaching and Learning, presented the awards.

More than 650 nominations were received from students and staff to recognise members of the college across different categories. A total of 16 awards were presented on the day.

Many of the nominations came from students themselves who were keen to thank members of staff who have encouraged and supported them to achieve.

During the ceremony, Lois Vassell said it was humbling to recognise the impact staff have had on the success of the college.

She said: “This year’s nominations really did touch the heart. Reading through them it really brought home exactly how much students and staff think of the college, and what they think of their tutors and colleagues.”

Both teaching members of staff and those from support services received awards.

Tutor Chris Brookes, winner of the ‘Student Nomination: Making a Difference’ award was nominated for ‘always being available whenever students have an issue and for going above and beyond - all the time!’ He was also praised for being on hand to help ‘around the clock’, including weekends, evenings and during college holidays.

Graeme Collie, Head of Commercial Catering, was the recipient of the ‘Lockdown Hero’ Award. His nomination read: ‘He works tirelessly to keep us all healthy and engaged; through lockdowns and changing restrictions he has given us a healthy diet, provided ingredients through Marketplace and kept us entertained with competitions. All this whilst bringing together the college's COVID response team, working with constantly changing regulations and restrictions, plus recently launching a wellness campaign for Men's Health Week.’

The Learning Services Team was named ‘Team of the Year’ for ensuring equipment and resources were available at short notice to allow students to continue their learning online during lockdown and their continued support and development in these areas.

Angela O’Donoghue, Principal and Chief Executive, handed out the awards and congratulated the recipients.

She said: “These past 18-months have been difficult for everyone and presented a number of additional challenges for staff and students.

“Despite the worldwide pandemic, our staff have once again demonstrated their dedication and determination, often trying different approaches, to see our students shine in their studies. They are truly what makes our college great.

“It is wonderful to hear so many stories about staff going the extra mile to help students achieve and support colleagues. Everyone plays a crucial part at the college and these awards are an excellent opportunity to recognise great efforts from staff. Congratulations to all of our winners and nominees.”