Students master hurdles to graduate

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There were celebrations when 21 students recently graduated from Henshaws Specialist College.

The facility provides programmes of learning and support for 16-25-year-olds with a range of disabilities from sensory impairments to learning difficulties.

A spokesman said the graduates, who have faced their own challenges in completing their courses, were presented with their certificates by the Mayor of Harrogate, Coun Nigel Simms.

Principal Angela North praised the students for achieving personal goals and said: “This was my first college graduation ceremony and it was an inspiring and moving event.

“It certainly underlined how important it is that we continue to strive to enable students to achieve their full potential and to progress along their individual pathway towards adulthood.”

Among the awards were special accolades to three students.

The Maxine Foster Award, given to the student who “most embodies the spirit of enthusiasm for life and living”, went to Tom Williams who has been Student Ambassador.

Winner of the Joshua Rayner Award for the student with a “unique and enthusiastic approach to their learning” was Francesca Wall who will go on to a course at her local college in Cheshire in the new year.

And the Jessica Fielding Award for “making a positive impact on others” was won by Liam Parry who entertained students with his comedy in “Henshaws Got Talent” and undertook a work placement at Harrogate hospital radio.

There were also presentations to four students who had achieved their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award and to the College’s student team who won Best Trade Stand and Overall Runner-Up for Best Company in the Young Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber regional finals.

The winner of the 2015 Henshaws Got Talent Awards, Elle Rice, performed at the event and there was a special contribution by two former students, both now working for Horticap.

Rachael Foye and Conor Van Der Wert, who had placements at Horticap, created eight flower troughs to decorate the stage.