Access and AAT Awards’ Evening - A Poignant Event 04/07/2018


The evening of Wednesday 27th June was one to remember for many adult students and staff at Stanmore College. The event opened with some words of congratulations from the Principal, Sarbdip Noonan. It was wonderful to see proud adult learners turn up in their finest attire to be presented with commemorative certificates and special awards having achieved qualifications across a range of Access subjects which included nursing, psychology and engineering to name but a few along with a range of accounting qualifications. For many it has been some time since they were last in formal education and there was no doubting just how important this step they had taken towards higher education had been to them. Many attendees spoke of having held down jobs, looked after children/family members and tended to homes while studying alongside to open doors to a better or different future through hard work and dedication despite having felt apprehensive at the beginning.

Room Set up at the Access Graduation

Certificates were presented to the jubilant adults by the Principal, Sarbdip Noonan, Head of School - Vik Seeborun, Deputy Head of School, Thomas Padfield and Biology and Chemistry Teacher, Chini Shukla.

Access Course Leader, Beaulah Banfield and Psychology Teacher, Adwoa Nimo did a fantastic job organising and hosting the event and it was evident just how much their support and teaching had meant from the personal approaches of students on route to collect their certificates. 

Student, Andora Okoli spoke of having completed Access to Nursing and was thankful that fate had brought her to Stanmore College to do it. She said the course had been a challenging one but for anyone interested in nursing, paediatrics, midwifery and health generally; it was certainly fulfilling and had prepared her well for university.

Principal giving speech at the Access Graduation

Andora thanked the teachers for their support and for motivating the learners in addition to helping with personal statements and teaching. She specifically mentioned their patience and understanding and acknowledged teachers, Beaulah, Adwoa, Adnan, Chini, Felix and Himali by name. The poignant impact of Andora's words, expressed with a sincere positive intent, gave credence like nothing else could to those teachers who were present and it was evident from their expressions and body language that they treated their work as a vocation and each student's success mattered equally as much to them as it did to the students themselves. Andora thanked all the staff in her speech and acknowledged the friends she had made while studying at Stanmore and how she had enjoyed being a class representative.

Attendees enjoyed a multi-cuisine buffet after the event during which student, Faye Halliday indicated she was now progressing to the University of Hertfordshire to do midwifery. Faye had been a hair dresser before becoming a mother of two and decided three years ago on a career change. Lucie Kilarikova told of having been out of education for 20 years before undertaking an Access course and her delight at now progressing to Middlesex University.

Staff and student posing with award

The atmosphere was one of new found confidence and a realisation that aspirations which had previously seemed surreal were within bounds for those who seek them out and make them happen.

We wish all our learners the very best for a bright and prosperous future.