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Sussex Spring logo Northbrook students have scooped a number of wins and runner up accolades at the FE Sussex Spring Awards this year.


Northbrook student, Heidi Gourlay won the Widening Participation in Higher Education award. The winner is chosen for diligence in their studies, consistent application to learning, overcoming challenges and barriers to their progress anddevelopment of personal qualities.  Heidi was awarded this accolade for her determination as well as her academic and personal growth. After returning to education after a long break and with two young children, Heidi not only undertook an access course to enable her to move onto higher education, but also supported her peers and studied for her maths GCSE to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. Her Northbrook tutor says “In my opinion Heidi has gained not only an academic qualification but has also made a huge learner journey where she has gained in confidence and self- belief as the course progressed.”


The Outstanding Progression to Higher Education was also won by Northbrook Student Aila Figura. The accolade is awarded for Commitment and diligence in studies which exceed the expected or average level, consistent application to learning and acquisition of knowledge, an extremely high level of motivation to entering and succeeding in Higher Education, overcoming challenges and barriers to progress, progress made from starting the course and development of personal qualities. Aila suffers with a degenerative neurological illness called Friedreich's Ataxia which meant that at the age of 15, she struggled to write or draw. With a love for the creative arts, this was a huge blow, but one which Aila turned around. She begun studying fashion photography and has gone from strength to strength. As her tutor says “Perceptive, creative, experimental and determined are four of Aila most obvious personal qualities. She has been diligent in pursuing her abilities and delights in discovering new processes to communicate her creative vision. As a wheelchair bound student, Aila’s disability has never detracted from her academic studies and she has always tackled any issues with a passion and sense of humour.”


Northbrook students also won a number of runner up awards, including Hospitality Student of the Year, won by Hayley Greco, NCFE Sussex Learner of the Year, awarded to Anthony Hancock and Pearson BTEC Learner of the Year presented to Charlie Brooksbank.