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The First York Rotary Awards at York College : December 2023

On Tuesday 19th December representatives of York Rotary visited York College Construction Centre to present the first of the new York Rotary Awards. We were welcomed by Ashley Stokes, Head of Curriculum for Construction, and the Deputy Head of Construction Mike Burdett.


The concept of the awards had been identified earlier in 2023 after Council allocated to Youth Services a refund from a closed community fund. The Team aims to focus more activities on the disadvantaged so Brian Houghton of York Rotary, with Ashley’s support, organised the enhancement of existing termly awards in Construction with worthwhile monetary prizes. 16-18 year olds who missed out on apprenticeships in Design, Construction and Fabrication industries can undertake a 2-year course in 6 disciplines. As an incentive the College already made an award in each discipline at the end of each term to the student whom staff judge to be most deserving – they may have demonstrated positive attitude, work rate, commitment, attendance and helped others, or perhaps turned themselves around. From 2023 to 2025, York Rotary will enhance the award by presenting each winner with a £50 voucher from Barnitts who have generously supported the project and also offer a 10% student discount when the student goes to spend their prize. 


Ashley and Mike accompanied us to 6 work areas where the winning students were located – but they had no idea of the surprise awaiting them! They were called up and President Paul handed over the certificates and vouchers, explaining the whys and wherefores. Reactions demonstrated pleasure and pride as well as genuine humility and gratitude. To quote just two :

It means an awful lot to me, I have worked really hard this term and this is great.

I might buy my Mum something!


The following are the winners:

Professional & Technical winner Daniel Hogben


Plumbing winner Michael Marshall, see the introductory photograph to this report

Painting & Decorating winner Ibrahim Adam


Carpentry & Joinery winner Lewis Watkin


Bricklaying winner Tiago Rodriguez


Electrical Winner Herbie Oxtoby-Wilkinson  


This was a most enjoyable visit and a great start to our 3-year project.               


Eileen Davis

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