Barnet and Southgate College welcomed Ben Smith to its annual student achievement awards at the end of last month. The gala ceremony was attended by special guests including students, alumni, parents and staff.
Ben Smith gave an inspiring speech explaining how running turned his life around after years of depression, school bullying and suffering a stroke at the age of 29. He encouraged students to dream big and fight for what they believed. Ben is the only man in the World to have run 401 marathons in 401 days across Britain, from Land’s End to John O Groats, at the time raising more than £330,000 for two anti-bullying charities, Kidscape and Stonewall; increasing awareness of the issues regarding bullying with over 100 schools.
Ben presented the College’s winners with their awards and a certificate alongside principal, David Byrne. Student winners on the night included, 20 year old business student Adam Basinski. Adam won the award as he excelled at every challenge he faced, not only winning the Kickers Challenge and Big Idea competitions, but he also promoted a positive face for the College to external partners. His tutors enthused that academically he’s a brilliant student, achieving Distinction Star grades throughout his BTEC levels and his hard work paid off as he’s now studying Law at Birmingham University.
Adam said: “I’m so glad my determination paid off and it has been recognised by the College with this fantastic award. I’m the only one that was nominated from my class and won an award from my year, and I feel really happy. I’m having a great time at Birmingham University, I really wanted to do law, rather than business as it’s a different path for me and I covered a lot of business during my BTEC level 3. College has given me the best preparation for university as all the assessments and assignments and the feedback structure is very similar to university as is the independent study. I don’t feel at any disadvantage that I didn’t do A level law or that I came from a College. In fact I’d recommend studying for a BTEC as you always know what stage you’re at and you can always progress and improve rather than wait for one final exam. Tonight has been great and meeting Ben is an inspiration for me.”
David Byrne, Principal of Barnet and Southgate College said:
“We take great satisfaction in supporting our students achieve their aspirations, whether this is to enter higher education, get their first job, develop vocational skills, complete an apprenticeship or help them improve their career. The annual awards ceremony is about recognising those students who have achieved more than they ever thought possible, and we’re really proud of all the nominees and winners. The hardest part is choosing just 20 winners from the 13,000 students we have across all campuses at Barnet and Southgate College.”