Aspiring Paramedic wins Student of the Year at Derwentside College’s Awards Ceremony 2019


Annual Achievement Awards ceremony with guest of honour John McCarthy CBE

Lauren Wilkinson has been named Student of the Year at Derwentside College’s Annual Achievement Awards ceremony, which was held at Derwentside College on Thursday 5 December.  Lauren was one of 20 students, recognised for their academic excellence and personal achievement, who personally received an award from John McCarthy CBE John McCarthy is a journalist and author who was Britons longest-held hostage in Lebanon, where he spent five years in captivity before his release in 1991.  John had guests riveted to their seat with his harrowing, yet humorous accounts of his time in captivity.His speech was absolutely inspirational and was much appreciated by staff, students and guests alike.

John commented that the awards ceremony was an uplifting and inspiring event, where students were recognised for the challenges that they had faced and the achievements they had attained.  He went on to say that he was humbled to witness some wonderful achievements and honoured to meet sometruly remarkable people. 

The conclusion of the evening was the announcement of the Student of the Year, which was announced by Tony Edwards - Chair of the Board. This year the award was given to Lauren Wilkinson, who also received an award for Excellence in Health & Social Care.  There are some special people who go that extra mile, many of whom have carried a heavy weight themselves; Lauren, from Stanley, is one of those selfless and outstanding people. Lauren joined Derwentside College as it provided her with the support she required - both academically and personally. With such a caring nature, Lauren focuses on others, providing support to organisations such as St. John’s Ambulance with her even saving a life during the Great North Run!  Lauren has also volunteered in all nature of placements abroad, from an orphanage in the Dominican Republic to an eye hospital in Jerusalem. Now doing a Paramedic Science Degree at Sunderland University, Lauren aims to be a paramedic and save even more lives in the future. 

The evening began with Chris Todd, Principal and Chief Executive, reviewing the College’s work and vision for the future.  He spoke about the College’s success in gaining the double accolade of No. 1 College in the North East for both Student and Employer Satisfaction.

The event, which was attended by over 250 people, included key business representatives and award winners’ family and friends, was a great success.