Celebrating student success at CAVC

14 December 2015

Celebrating student success at Cardiff and Vale College

Cardiff and Vale College showcased the hard work and success of its learners with a glittering award evening in its new City Centre Campus.

It is the first time that the College’s Annual Awards Evening has been held actually in the College. The lavish ceremony took place in CAVC’s £45m new City Centre Campus, which opened its doors to students in September. More than 300 attendees from across the spectrum of local business, education providers and the community came to the event where 20 students plus the College’s partner organisations were recognised for their efforts and contribution to College life.

Award winners and their guests were treated to a drinks reception with delicious bowl food in the fifth floor restaurant, The Classroom, while the College’s partners from the worlds of business and education held a networking event in the Campus Business Centre. The event itself took place in the stunning surroundings of the City Centre Campus Atrium, where NoFit State Circus wowed guests with a daring Promenade Performance silks routine suspended from the 30m high roof of the campus. The ceremony itself was hosted by Jason Mohammad, a former student of the College.

Celebrating the achievements of the 2014-15 academic year [see full list of winners below], the awards also illustrated the benefits of choosing a Further Education college such as CAVC. All of the students recognised have progressed on to university courses, the next level at College or within their careers. Cardiff and Vale College

Principal and Chief Executive Mike James said: “I offer my hearty congratulations to all of our award winners. It has been fantastic to celebrate all of their achievements.                                           

“The Annual Awards are a great reminder of the impact learning has and the opportunities it can create. It also reminds me what a privilege it is to be working in our exciting College.”

Winners included Brian Davies OBE, who won the College’s Alumni Award. Brian, the chef de mission of Team Wales, was in charge of the Commonwealth Games who recorded the highest medal tally for a Welsh team.

Former A Level student, Joel Ringer, won the award for Contribution to College life. Joel, from Penarth, was the first captain of the College’s extremely successful Rugby Academy, and also gained the chance to develop his sporting career with rugby giants Toulon.

The Principal’s Award for the student who best reflects the College’s values either through achievement, attitude or participation in extracurricular activities went to Adam Litchfield. Adam is a 22-year-old Level 3 Refinishing student from Cardiff who this year won the Gold Medal at the WorldSkills UK competition, making him the best auto refinishing student in the whole of the UK. He also won the Transport Services Award.

“I’m very surprised and very happy to win these awards,” Adam said. “I’ve been at the College for about four years and everyone has helped me through a lot and they’ve put me forward for competitions that I never thought I’d get involved in to. To win the Gold Medal with the support of my tutors was great.

“Ever since I was at school I’ve always wanted to run my own business and be my own boss, and the College is really helping me to achieve that.”

This year the competition was so great between the College’s Business and IT students that two winners had to be chosen for this category.

IT student Ella Jenkins, from Cardiff, started College with a very basic level of knowledge in computing but has gone on to get the best grades possible. She has become a STEM ambassador and has helped plan an IT and Networking Workshop.

“I’m really glad with what I have achieved – the course has been amazing and I’ve learned so much since I came to the College,” Ella said. “The tutors and their support have really helped me towards my ideal career in computer forensics.”

Megan Harrington, also from Cardiff, studies Business at CAVC. A member of the Career Ready programme, Megan has transformed during her time at the College. She has completed an internship at Freshfields, one of the world’s biggest law firms, and is set to progress on to a Law Degree at Greenwich University.

“If you had asked me at the beginning of me course that I would have won this award and done everything that I have I wouldn’t have believed it,” Megan said. “The course has given me so much confidence and the internship at Freshfields in London has really helped me – I’m going back to them again in February for another internship.”

Connor Marks won the Apprenticeship Award. Connor, who is from Barry, started at CAVC as a full time students but it didn’t work out for him so he successfully went down the apprenticeship route. Excelling despite recovering from a serious motorbike accident, Connor has since set up his own salon, Connor’s Universal Hair Studio, in Barry. He funded the start-up himself and now employs his own CAVA apprentice.

“I’m very thankful for this award,” Connor said. “I’m just very grateful to be put forward for an award and to be invited to this event in the campus – the building is gorgeous!”

Lewis Richmond, who is also from Barry, won the Aerospace Award. An exceptional student, Lewis is studying a BSc (Hons) in Aircraft Engineering and his journal and portfolio have been used as exemplary good practice.

“I’m really happy,” he said. “I’ve always done my work for myself because I wanted to get the best I can from education so I never thought about winning awards. It’s a real bonus and it’s lovely.

“The course is great and all of the tutors have been really helpful, and the International Centre for Aerospace Training is a lovely little place to learn in.”

The Creative Industries Award was won by Claudia Fredriksen from Cardiff. Hailed as a student in a million by her tutors, Art & Design learner Claudia has used her time at CAVC to focus and come to terms with some real challenges that life has thrown at her.

“I was fairly surprised to win this award – all I’ve always loved art from a young age; I’ve always done it,” Claudia said. “I want to say ‘thank you’ to all my teachers and tutors. I’ve really enjoyed my time at College and I’m still enjoying it!

“I’d love to be a tattoo artist, that’s always been my dream, and my course will really help me that.”

College partner organisations Deloitte, Grwp Gwalia and The Vale Resort and Spa were also celebrated for their innovative approach to work-based learning and efforts on behalf of the College in giving students the best possible start in their careers.

A wide range of sponsors also supported the event, ensuring that the College could recognise learner achievements in style. CAVC would like to thank Capital FM, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Circle IT and the University of South all Wales for helping the awards be the success that they were.

Award category



A Levels & GCSEs

Andrew Gwynne

A Levels


Lewis Richmond

BSc (Hons) Aircraft Engineering

Built Environment

Aaron Horrobin

Wall & Floor Tiling Level 2

Business & IT

Ella Jenkins

Extended Diploma for IT Practitioners

Business & IT

Megan Harrington

Extended Diploma in Business

Creative Industries

Claudia Fredriksen

BTEC Extended Diploma in Art & Design

Education & Training

Victoria Westcott


Engineering & Environment

Michael O’Donovan

Electrical Apprentice

Foundation Studies

Delroy Stewart


Hair, Beauty & Complementary Therapies

Elizabeth O’Conners

Essential Hair & Beauty

Health, Social Care & Children’s Care

Ceri Bailey

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care

Hospitality & Tourism

Benoit Kamdem

Level 2 Diploma in Hospitality

Sport & Public Services

Lloyd Martin

Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching

Transport Services

Adam Litchfield

Level 3 Refinishing

Adult & Community Award

Sudhuf Khan

Adult Foundation & Access

Apprenticeship Award

Connor Marks

Foundation Apprenticeship in Hairdressing

Entrepreneurship Award

Jamie O’Brien

Level 3 Diploma in Business

Higher Education Award

Spencer Penn

Foundation Degree in Ceramics

School Link Award

Jessie Rowlands

Hair & Beauty and Public Services

Business & Partner Award



Business & Partner Award

Grwp Gwalia


Business & Partner Award

The Vale Resort and Spa


Alumni Award

Brian Davies OBE


Contribution to College Life

Joel Ringer

A Levels

Principal’s Award

Adam Litchfield

Level 3 Refinishing