Students and apprentices celebrated a year of outstanding achievements at the first Capital City College Group (CCCG) Excellence Awards.

Around 60 awards were presented to learners in recognition of their hard work, commitment and success over the past year at a glittering ceremony at Tobacco Dock in east London.

Students from City and Islington College (CANDI), Westminster Kingsway College (WestKing) and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL), and apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training (CCCT) all received awards.

Awards were also presented to participants of entrepreneurship programme Visionnaires, which started within CCCG in 2019, and 01 Founders, a coding school launched with CCCG in 2021.

Organisations that work with CCCG were also honoured. Arsenal in the Community received a Community Recognition Award while Nominet and Building Heroes/Regal London were handed Employer Partner Awards.

The ceremony was compèred by Kamal Ellis-Hyman, Founder and Director of Aim A Little Higher, which runs personal development programmes for young people across the UK.

Alastair Da Costa, Chair of CCCG, welcomed the award winners and their families and presented the awards along with Jasbir Sondhi, Vice Principal of WestKing, and David Dangana, Director of Group Quality and Compliance.

He said: “Excellence is hard work realised. It takes dedication, perseverance, overcoming frustrations and doubts. Realising excellence requires support from friends and family, it requires picking up when you are down, and it is right to celebrate achievement and success with friends and loved ones.

“This evening, I want to thank you all for being excellent, whether you win an award, are supporting those who win an award or whether you have taught and helped those in this room to realise their potential.”

Awards were presented to students from across CCCG’s provision including many who had achieved success at college and overcome major challenges during their studies.

Among the award winners was Vivek Quissor who gained a triple-starred Distinction in his Public Services diploma at CANDI and was praised for the quality of his well-researched assignments and being an inspiration to other students.

Vivek, 18, who is now studying for a BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Greenwich, said: “My lecturers provided an outstanding level of teaching throughout the length of my course. I credit my success to them. They left no stone unturned when it came to making sure that assignment work was completed to the highest of standards.”

Also picking up an award was Mariana Ghertan who completed her Healthcare Support Worker apprenticeship with CCCT despite catching COVID twice and suffering family bereavement.

Mariana, 36, said: “My tutor was the most incredible support. She encouraged me not to give up and offered me more time. I spoke to my husband and sons who had seen how much hard work I had put in. They said that my mum was proud of me and would have wanted me to finish, so I did.”

Tyler Minter, 24, wanted to start a Rail Engineering apprenticeship with Alstom and CONEL after learning he was to become a dad. He was described by his tutors as “an exceptional student” who produces a high standard of work and is a perfect role model to his peers.

He said: “I love the fact that I’m learning while also getting hands on experience. I’m gaining knowledge that is vital to the job and also putting it to use in a practical sense. I’m also not getting into debt like a lot of people who go to university do, and I’m earning a good salary.”

The final award of the night was the CCCG Inspiration Award, which was presented to CANDI Art and Design diploma student Georgiana Guias, who was praised by her teachers for her dedication, intelligence and enthusiasm, as well as her support for her peers.

Georgiana, 18, who is now studying a BA (Hons) Architecture at Central Saint Martins, said: “It’s a big surprise to get this award because everybody on the course worked hard. The course was challenging but I got to learn new skills and techniques and the teachers were friendly and supportive of me and other students.”

The ceremony also featured live performances by Music Performance and Production students from CANDI and WestKing.

CANDI students Beth Cook, 18, Gloria Elubode, 17, and Ralph Heywood, 17, performed their own composition entitled Faith and Strength is the Key.

WestKing students Gabi Reece, 18, and Isabelle Linehan, 17, together known as The Park, performed their own work called She’ll Stay.

Hospitality and Culinary Arts students from WestKing served canapés at the event with front of house service run by WestKing’s Travel and Tourism students and CONEL’s Public Service students.

The ceremony was sponsored by Apogee, NCFE, OCN London, Gateway Qualifications, Dar Group, insight6, Learning Curve Group, Candor Professional Beauty Academy, ESB, GLL, SFEDI Group and 3Drakes.

Roy O’Shaughnessy, CEO of CCCG, described the evening as “absolutely incredible and inspiring” as he congratulated the award winners, staff, sponsors and organisers of the event.

He said: “I want to congratulate our staff, students, their families and friends and thank them for making this evening such a wonderful success. It is such a privilege to look around this room and see students, teachers and staff from across the Group, sitting here today and celebrating the hard work of those that we’ve honoured, so really, truly well done.

“We wouldn’t have been here without our sponsors, and I would like to thank them on behalf of our staff, students, staff and governors.  Your work means that at CCCG we not only can offer courses and programmes, but we are able to work with employers to give opportunities for our students to create the future for London.”

Find out more about our wide range of courses and apprenticeships here.

Adult students excelled in this year’s GCSE results at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) with more than half achieving high grades in maths.

The college saw 56.8 per cent of students aged 19 or over pass their maths exam with high 9 to 4 grades while 46.1 per cent of adults were awarded top grades in English.

Students taking their GCSEs were sitting exams for the first time since the COVID pandemic with many studying them alongside full-time courses and some without English as a first language.

Overall CONEL saw 30.9 per cent of students achieve high grades of 9 to 4 in English and 30.5 per cent attain 9 to 4 grades in maths with many going on to further study or employment.

Hanieh Damer Cheli, 33, achieved a grade 9 in maths and a 5 in English along with a 9 in GCSE Combined Science. She now hopes to study A Levels or an Access to Higher Education Diploma.

She said: “I couldn’t sleep and woke up at 4am! I was so nervous that I asked my friend to check my results. I was predicted 8 or 9 in maths.  I was expecting a bit higher in English, but I’ve still got good grades.

“My English teacher was fantastic. She was so caring and kind and really paid attention to her students. I felt confident about my knowledge going into the exam. I’m so happy, and I can now plan for my future. This is the first step to university, but I know I can do it.”

Lwin McLay, Kamile Dilberoglu, Mahsa Moradaghay, Besjana Begaj and Habibeh Esmaeil Zadeh all attained a grade 8 in maths.

Lwin, 45, who also completed an AAT Accounting Level 3 Diploma and is now progressing to Level 4, said: “I was very excited when I got my result. My tutor was excellent and helped us prepare well for the exam. He knew his subject and all the topics that were going to be covered this year.

“He gave us all the information and laid out all the resources we needed, and we also did a lot of past exam papers in class. As long as you put in the work and study, you can achieve anything.”

Mahsa Moradaghay and Lwin McLay who both achieved a grade 8 in maths and Andy Brenya who attained a 6 in English and a 7 in maths.

Andy Brenya, 19, gained a 6 in English and a 7 in maths while also studying for the first year of an Applied Science Level 3 Diploma, which he is expected to complete next summer.

He said: “The teaching at CONEL was very good. In English my teacher broke everything down, which made it very easy. In maths they did everything to help me understand and we would have tests every week. It gave me the confidence I needed going into the exam.”

CONEL offers A Levels at its Enfield Centre through its City and Islington College (CANDI) Sixth Form Hub. It also offers vocational courses at its Tottenham and Enfield Centres in Accounting, Business, Construction, Engineering, Creative Media, Health and Social Care, Childcare, Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy, Computing, Music, Public Services, Science, Sport, Teacher Education and Travel and Tourism.

The college also offers a wide range of apprenticeships with top employers across London through Capital City College Training enabling you to earn while you learn.

Kurt Hintz, Executive Principal of Capital City College Group, which includes CONEL, said: “I would like to congratulate all our GCSE students on an excellent set of results this year.

“It is a tribute to their hard work and resilience and the dedication and support of our teachers and staff that they have achieved the grades they deserve. I wish them all the very best for the future.”

Places are still available at CONEL this September. Find out more about our courses and apprenticeships here and enrol today.

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