Students praised at this year's Suffolk New College awards ceremony
PUBLISHED: 13:02 28 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:32 28 June 2019
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Students and staff at Suffolk New College celebrated the end of another successful year by hosting their annual student awards ceremony.
More than 30 awards were handed out to students who had shown either outstanding commitment or made outstanding progress during their course.
Around 300 guests were welcomed to the event by student music group "Gertrude" - who will also be performing at Ipswich Music Day later this year - as parents celebrated their children's achievements.
The awards, each sponsored by local, national and international businesses, were presented for different subject areas. Supporters ranged from Atlantic Records to Alpha Nurseries, Cephas Care and Capital Hair.
Students pitched in together to organise the night, with performing arts students treating the audience to numbers from their most recent production of The Little Shop of Horrors at the interval, while catering students showed off their new found cooking skills.
Principal Viv Gillespie, who thanked college supporters and praised students for their efforts, said: "By studying with us you are making the next steps towards your chosen path."
Winners included non-league footballer Paulo Coelho, who picked up the outstanding engineer's prize.
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On winning the award, the 21-year-old from Ipswich said: "I felt amazed and proud of myself when I heard I'd won the award."
The Ipswich Wanderers player said he will now focus on developing his football career, but added: "I will always have the qualification to fall back on."
Another winner was mature student Rachel Wilding, who gained a science prize on an access to higher education course.
She said: "Taking a course at Suffolk New College has been a complete change for me. I was shocked and proud to win.
I enjoyed science in a way I never thought I would."
Closing the ceremony, former Ipswich mayor Roger Fern said: "What a splendid evening. I hope you are very proud of what you have achieved as we are very proud of you."
Marketing manager Craig Shimon added: "Seeing parents, guardians and supporters proudly look on as their loved ones pick up awards is without doubt one of the highlights of our year."