Student Awards 2023

Student Awards returned this year for the first time since 2019! On Saturday 18 November 2023, staff, students and loved ones gathered at Headland House to celebrate and acknowledge the outstanding achievements of our students, both academic and personal.

Student Awards 2023 table filled with trophies and certificates

Barbara Cooper, The College of Animal Welfare’s Principal, opened the event with a speech congratulating the students for all of their achievements, illustrating how “The Student Awards event is a testament to the hard work, perseverance and the passion that is exhibited by every single one of you.” This year, the awards themselves were presented to each student by Greg Warman, Chairman and CEO of VetSkill.

During the event, members of staff presented awards to a whole host of students, with each staff member preparing a small speech about the student receiving the award to allow them to fully understand why they were being honoured with their award. Family, friends and loved ones clapped and celebrated throughout the ceremony and the room was filled with a sense of excitement and pride.

Family and friends watching the Student Awards ceremony

Student Awards has always been an opportunity for The College of Animal Welfare to celebrate not only our students but also their loved ones who supported them throughout their courses. It’s an amazing event that was sorely missed for the past few years but celebrated all the more now that it’s back.

The excitement could be felt, not just in the students and their family, but also through the staff attending the event; many staff members had travelled from different centres to be a part of the day and all the staff there on the day were grinning from ear to ear as they watched their students accept awards. We caught up with a few of them to get their thoughts on the day.

“I’m just really proud of them [the students], they’ve worked so hard and shown such resilience, such determination and, for some of them, achieved what they didn’t think they could” explained Lisa Forrest, Additional Learning Support Manager.

When asked how it felt to see her students being honoured with their awards, Nina De Franco, Head of Veterinary Studies, commented, “I think we’re all very proud of the students. It’s been lovely to see them here today with their families and also for the tutors who have supported them through this, so to see them being recognised, and for them to understand just what they’ve achieved in order for them to get this award has been fabulous!”

Gary McAdam, Head of Distance Learning, shared how thrilled he was to have Student Awards back, “I think it’s a prestigious event that helps show the dedication the College has in supporting learners coming into our industry and without it, we can’t invite other people in so we need to do this more often,”

After the ceremony, students headed upstairs for their award photos, catching up with their tutors and each other before grabbing a bite to eat back downstairs; every inch of the area was filled with groups of students, tutors and family enjoying the event and their time together.

We had such a wonderful time at Student Awards 2023 and we’re already looking forward to next year’s event! If you’d like to get a glimpse inside the day, we’ve put together a Student Awards 2023 video which you can watch below.