‘A promise is a promise’, award for student who made vow to dying wife
PUBLISHED: 06:30 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:20 01 October 2018
A ‘lovely, inspirational man’, who completed his further education course after his dying wife made him promise not to give it up, was one of the outstanding students honoured at City College Norwich’s annual awards.
Gareth Palmer, who completed the Access to Higher Education: Engineering course was presented with the award for exceptional performance.
Mr Palmer, 42, from Great Ellingham, was looking after his wife Tania, who had a serious long-term illness, at the time he was doing his course.
She died in March, but had asked her husband to promise that he would complete his studies and go on to realise his ambition of working in aviation.
He is well on his way to doing that and is studying on the college’s Professional Aviation Engineering Practice degree, at the International Aviation Academy Norwich.
He said: “Completing the Access course was a fairly easy task, because it was something I wanted and something Tania made me promise I would do. A promise is a promise. In theory she should be getting the limelight and this award.
“I have stayed friends with other members of the group from the course. It was nice to know that there were people with me as I was going through this.
“And staff at the college have been very, very good to me. The plan is to become a category B1 mechanical engineer to start with, and to get the avionics licence as well.
“When I can no longer work on aircraft engines it would be nice to come back to somewhere like the International Aviation Academy and pass on my knowledge to others entering the industry.”
The students were nominated for awards by their lecturers, with Mr Palmer’s lecturer describing him as “a lovely, inspirational man”, praising not only his determination through an extremely difficult period, but also his willingness to contribute and help others in the group.
Twenty-three outstanding students were honoured in the ceremony, with the awards reflecting the wide range of course offered by City College Norwich and Paston College.
Principal Corrienne Peasgood said: “These Further Education Awards are a celebration of incredible achievements and remarkable individual journeys made by our students.”
Award-winning film helps scoop outstanding contribution award
A teenager who made an award-winning documentary about transgender transition won the award for outstanding contribution to college life.
Amy Parrack, 18, from Blofield, completed the college’s University of the Arts London Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media.
As part of her Final Major Project, she produced a documentary film, My Authentic Self, telling the story of a transgender young person and her transition from male to female.
Amy’s outstanding film achieved a Level 4 Distinction and was praised by the external verifier as the best he had seen in 20 years of teaching and examining.
It was shown at the UAL Origins Creative Arts Festival at the OXO Tower in London, where it won an award.
She said: “The thing I enjoyed most about making the film was that it was just such a good and positive enriching experience.
“I’m really, really happy with how it turned out.”
From home schooling to college
A student who had previously been home educated won the outstanding student achievement award.
It was a major transition when Georgina Sunter, 17, from Taverham, joined the college’s Phoenix Insight course,
She said: “I was very anxious about it. It was quite a big step to go from being not in a school at all, to being in such as big college, but it was made really easy by all of the people and all of the teachers who were there to support me.
“It’s a really nice atmosphere.”
Her GCSE results in the summer included the highest grade (9) in chemistry and physics and a grade 8 in catering.
She is now studying A-levels in mathematics, physics and chemistry, with the Sixth Form Centre at City College Norwich and plans to go to university or embark on a degree apprenticeship in engineering.
City College Norwich’s Further Education Award Winners 2018
Outstanding Achievement at A Level - Maisie Barber
Outstanding Achievement at AS Level - Franky Sewter
Outstanding Student Progression in Supported Learning - Nicole Howes
Overcoming Barriers to Success in Pre-Employment Training - Cameron Marshall
Dedication and Progress in English - Ella Broom
Dedication and Progress in Maths - James Austen
Dedication and Hard Work in ESOL - Xhoana Zatoski
Outstanding Personal and Academic Progression in Phoenix Plus - Georgina Sunter
Oustanding Achievement in Construction - Lindsey Moon
Outstanding Achievement in Creative Arts - Amy Parrack
Outstanding Progress in Business and Retail - Joseph Hastings
Outstanding Effort in Engineering - Sammie Ashforth
Outstanding Achievement in Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy - Aidan Hunn
Outstanding Commitment and Progression in Hospitality, Catering & Tourism - Harry Daisley
Outstanding Achievement in Health and Social Care and Childcare - Katherine Hockin
Outstanding Achievement in Sports and Public Services - Georgia Potter
Outstanding Achievement and Commitment in Access to Higher Education - Gareth Palmer
Outstanding Achievement and Commitment at Paston - Year 1 - Taryn Yarnell
Outstanding Achievement and Commitment at Paston - Year 2 - Thomas Nudd
Outstanding Achievement in Education and Training - Anne Brown
Outstanding Commitment and Achievement in Information Technology - Alejandro Montero
The Students’ Union Award for Enhancing the Student Experience - Emily Staley
The James Barr Memorial Award - Andrea Christmas-Arden
Award for Exceptional Performance – Gareth Palmer
The Governors’ Robert Walton Award for Outstanding Contribution to College Life – Amy Parrack
The Governors’ Award for Outstanding Student Achievement – Georgina Sunter
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.