Students celebrate after coming out tops at awards

Hastings Mayor Cllr Bruce Dowling, sponsors and winners of the Hastings and Rother Aspiration Awards. SUS-151003-125710001
Hastings Mayor Cllr Bruce Dowling, sponsors and winners of the Hastings and Rother Aspiration Awards. SUS-151003-125710001

Students from the University of Brighton, Hastings, are celebrating after they boosted their career prospects by winning at the Hastings and Rother Aspiration Awards.

A total of 13 students, from a range of courses, received their awards at a presentation at the university’s Priory Square building in Hastings.

A further 32 students received university employability awards which comprise of funding to help pay for interview costs and further training.

The Hastings and Rother Aspiration Awards are presented by the university annually to help local students overcome financial and personal challenges they face while studying

Dr Paul Frost, Director of the Hastings Campus, introduced the awards by thanking the sponsors, whose support alongside that of the university’s Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement Office made the awards possible.

The awards were presented by Annette Shelford, who graduated from the Hastings campus in 2010. Since graduating, Annette has been heavily involved in promoting the campus and its increasing participation agenda through fundraising and alumni engagement activities.

Over the last four years, 43 students have received Aspirations Awards providing financial support totalling over £27,000.

Each winner was given the opportunity to give a personal message of thanks to the sponsors behind the awards.

Comments from students included: “Thanks to this award I am able to complete a weeks placement at the Sun newspaper. As a result of this I have been offered freelance work starting after graduation. Travel expenses would have been difficult without this.”

“Through the generosity of strangers I have been given the opportunity to kickstart an idea into a fledgling business.”

“The award will help me to remove some of the challenges and barriers faced as a mature single parent with caring responsibilities.”

Guests at the presentation ceremony included sponsors, friends and family, the Mayor of Hastings, Councillor Bruce Dowling, and the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Judy Rogers, who spoke to winners individually about their success.

Cllr Dowling said he was very pleased to be able to attend the event again, adding: “I know some local students really struggle with the cost of university, especially with other home commitments. It was clear that the awards mean a lot to the students, and I am very grateful to the university for arranging the awards, and for the benefactors who provide them. They are very obviously appreciated, and make a real difference to the students who receive them.”