Chichester College is celebrating after taking several awards at the first Lee Stafford Education national student competition.
The college came away with three of the top prizes – along with several other accolades – at the event, which saw the seven Lee Stafford Education partner colleges go head-to-head in London last week.
Chichester College took the ultimate prize when it was named the Lee Stafford Education College of the Year, in recognition of its achievements and standards reached by the students and staff at the competition.
Chichester apprentice Lauren Chater, 17, took first place in the first year styling category, after producing a mermaid-inspired style using the ‘twisted tong’ recipe.
Lauren, who works at the Mark Lewis hair salon in East Wittering, also went on to be named Student of the Year.
She said: “I was really nervous when we were travelling up to London – everyone on the coach was chatting but I was so quiet, which isn’t like me at all!
“But once the competition started I just seemed to relax and spent the whole time talking to my model as I worked on her hair.
“I never thought I’d win, so I was really surprised when they called out my name – I thought it was a joke at first as I had seen the other people in my category and they were amazing.
“Then to win Student of the Year – that was unbelievable, especially as I only started the course in September! I was in shock but I’m really happy, and my family are very proud of me.”
Julia Williams, head of learning for service industries (including hair and beauty) added: “We are absolutely blown away by the team’s success in London.
“I’m so very proud of Lauren and the other five students competing for the college. It is a tremendous achievement.
“The icing on the cake was being named College of the Year, which is phenomenal.
“I know how hard the team work to ensure they are hitting – and exceeding - the standards set by Lee Stafford Education. This is extremely well deserved.”
In addition to these awards, students Jodie Mayer and Zana Kuklyte came second for Chichester in the cutting & styling and level 3 colouring, cutting and styling categories (respectively).
Tutors Sam Morgan, Sam Lister and Sue Sweeney were also named ‘Master Trainers’ and were presented with pairs of engraved, gold scissors to celebrate their Big 10 achievements in 22 recipes (techniques used to master different elements of hair styles, cuts and colours).
Big 10’s are awarded to trainers who have reached the highest standard of achievement during their own practical assessments.
Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chichester College Principal, said: “I am absolutely delighted for our hair team – both staff and students.
“We have always believed we have an enormously talented team in our training salon – and this proves it.
“The awards given to our students and staff recognise the achievements and effort that they put in every day.”