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Excellence awards ceremony group shot at the end of the night

Top students honoured

13th November 2015

Top students were awarded last night at a glittering ceremony hosted by special guest performer and comedian Kat B last night. Barking & Dagenham College?s annual Excellence Awards ceremony took place at a packed-out Broadway Theatre in Barking on Tuesday night. Kat B, the all-round entertainer, MTV presenter and former Choice FM DJ gave an amusing talk to the students who were then called on stage to receive their awards.

41 awards were presented to the talented students in subjects ranging from business studies, performing arts and floristry to brickwork, carpentry, art, health and social care and sports and public services.

Sponsors' support

The students were joined by family and friends, college staff, the Mayor of Barking and Dagenham Councillor Simon J Bremner, local employers and businesspeople. 33 local and national businesses sponsored the event, contributing over £8,000 towards prizes for the students.

Fulfilling potential

The event was the first attended by the College’s new Principal Mark Robertson, who joined the College at the start of the month from City of Wolverhampton College, where he had been widely praised as being responsible for turning around what had been a failing college. Mr Robertson commented:

“This is only my 7th working day at the College, but it is clear to me already that Barking & Dagenham College is a really special place.

"It’s the people that make the difference between good and absolutely amazing; it’s the passion of our staff that helps our students to fulfil their potential.

"Well done to all our student award winners tonight!”

Not only were students receiving awards on the night, many were also instrumental in the organisation of the evening’s celebrations. Drinks and canapés throughout the reception were prepared and served by the College’s trainee chefs and hospitality students and the entertainment, lighting, audio and sound were also provided by the performing arts and technical theatre students.

"Just delighted"

19 year old Jaye Cooney from Dagenham (pictured above left, with Principal and CEO, Mark Robertson) received the Hospitality & Food Studies Award and was delighted to find out at the culmination of the ceremony that he’d also won the Outstanding Progress Award for a Young Person; he declared himself to be “Gobsmacked!” at his double win, adding

“I am just delighted and I would like to thank everyone at the College for their support this year. I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Barking & Dagenham College student of the year

The finale of the night was the eagerly anticipated announcement of the ‘Learner of the Year’ Award. Christopher Lashmar (pictured below), from Manor Park, East London, was delighted to be named Learner of the Year.

The 21 year old, who is in his final year of a Uniformed Public Services course at the College, said:

“It’s a great honour. I knew I was collecting an award on behalf of the department, but I didn’t know I was going to be named student of the year - it was a big surprise!”

Christopher will become a fire fighter when he leaves college, a dream he has had since visiting his granddad’s fire station as a small boy; granddad Stephen retired 3 years ago after serving in the London Fire Brigade for 25 years.


The Mayor of Barking & Dagenham, Councillor Simon Bremner, summed up the night by saying:

“It was a very uplifting evening and I was really impressed by the student winners and what can be achieved at Barking & Dagenham College.”

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