Telford College welcomed back one of its most famous former students to hand out the prizes at its end-of-year awards evening.
Mo Chaudry, who appeared on the Channel Four TV show ‘Secret Millionaire’, grew up in Wellington and began his education at the college.
He has since become one of the UK’s most successful Asian businessmen, with a portfolio including the country’s largest tropical indoor aqua park, Waterworld, in the Potteries.
Mo Chaudry former college student said:
Mo gained some of his first qualifications at the college’s former King Street campus, on his way to a sparkling career which has seen him launch a range of companies including health clubs and spas, adventure mini golf sites, and property investments.
His most recent move has been to take a controlling interest in Pulse, a leisure group which is partnering more than 75,000 leisure facilities in 31 countries, across six continents.
Mo spoke to students about the importance of ‘seizing the moment’, following their dreams and instincts, and refusing to be defeated by life’s disappointments or setbacks.
Awards were handed out to more than 40 students for their outstanding achievement and significant improvement over the current academic year.
The winners of this year’s four special awards were Jeni Knight from Whitchurch, Philippa Lench from Shrewsbury, James Halbert from Leebotwood, and Anthony Bealey from Bridgnorth.
Jeni, 43, won the Second Time Around award. She came back into education on an access science course, and has overcome medical issues to work towards her dream career in forensic science.
Philippa, 20, received the Principal’s Special Award in recognition of the way she too has overcome health problems, showing a determination to succeed which has earned her the offer of a place at Durham University.
James, 18, was presented with the Apprentice of the Year award on the back of a glowing testimonial from his employer, Beaver Bridges Limited. He was described as ‘a valued member of the team’ who is very open to learning new skills.
And the college’s prestigious Victor Ludorum award was a perfect 20th birthday present for Anthony, who started at Telford College on the level two sport route – one of the courses run in conjunction with Wolverhampton Wanderers football club.
The audience heard how he was coaching in the sports academy, and running futsal training sessions, all in his own time, while also becoming an FA Grass Roots Hub Football Activator. “He is hard working, reliable and always on hand to help others,” tutors said.
From the business, professional studies and digital department, certificates were also handed out at the awards ceremony to level three computing student Lindsey Ellis, and Jessica Neale from level one business.
Engineering students who received awards were Callum Parr from the level one programme, and Callum MacMillan who is on a level two course.
Construction and automotive certificates went to Carrig Keenan, a level two transport maintenance student, and Nathaniel Williams, who is on level one construction.
From hospitality, hair and beauty, award winners were Patrycja Laska and Kiranjot Kaur, who are both studying level one culinary skills.
Level one art and media student Corey Clark was one of two winners from the music and creative departments, alongside level three art and design diploma student Rachel Doswell.
This year’s health, early years and education winners were level two student Tameena Hussain, and Tyler Mackenzie from level three health and social care.
Level three sport students Deimanta Uznyte, and Victor Ludorum trophy winner Anthony Bealey, were the two winners from sport and public services.
There were also certificates for GCSE English duo Mark Walton and Cody Layder, while the adult maths and English prizes went to Ana-Maria Cristuinea, and Sophia Hussein.
Jolie Rickus and Lewis McGowan from Kickstart received certificates, along with six representatives from the college’s 7th Form, Faye Oliver, Ciara Neville, Daniel Higgins, Sophie Duigenan, Adeline Bugaja, and Florence Brown-Williams.
Other winners included three Access to Higher Education students – Benjamin Thompson, Uche Okacha, and Sarah Stratten – plus foundation students Liam Davies and Ethan Hartley.
Seven apprentices were also presented with certificates: Aaron Jenner for advanced electrical/electronic engineering and Matthew Collins for advanced manufacturing engineering, Bradley Marlow for IT, Emily Smith and Nicole Cartledge for customer service, Francis Novick for IT professional competence, George Morris for business administration, James Halbert for construction civil engineering, and Shaun Smart for engineering.
Graham Guest, principal and chief executive, said: “The evening was an opportunity to celebrate the incredible achievements and progress of our students throughout the year.
“We were delighted to welcome Mo Chaudry to talk about his memories of his time at our college, share his motivational and inspirational story, and help recognise our students’ success.”