Recognition of Achievement at SERC Excellence Awards Lisburn Campus

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16 April 2024

Olivia McCloughlin, Dave Linton and Darren Black

Recognition of Achievement at SERC Excellence Awards Lisburn Campus Students, staff, friends, and family gathered at South Eastern Regional College (SERC) to celebrate the best of the College community, at the annual Excellence Awards for Lisburn and Ballynahinch Campuses (11 April).

Guests were welcomed with a drinks reception before almost 100 certificates and awards were presented in recognition of outstanding student achievements and staff success.

Awards were presented by Guest Speaker, Dave Linton, founder and Managing Director of multi-award-winning social enterprise luggage company Madlug - which stands for Make a Difference Luggage – the company, based in Portadown, that produces bags, cases and backpacks and for every sale makes sure a young person in care receives a bag of their own. Following a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign with Madlug in 2017, Dave was given the opportunity to have brunch with Sir Richard Branson to share the company’s story. In 2019 Dave won GBEA Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern Ireland and Entrepreneur for Good for the UK.

Dave gave a lively and motivating speech and in sharing his story, encouraged students not to wait to do something, but start right away and make the change that they wanted to happen.   He congratulated everyone nominated and receiving awards and wished them every success in their future studies and careers.

This year, the College was delighted to have headline sponsorship support from The White Horse Inn, Saintfield, who also supported category award the Apprentice of the Year. Category awards were also sponsored by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award; Draynes Farm for the Community Champion of the Year Award; and UK Healthcare for the Champion of Health and Wellbeing Award.

Following the presentations, a Vote of Thanks was given by Vikki Pinkerton, SERC Student Governor.

Deborah O’Hare, SERC Governing Body said, “This evening is all about celebrating the efforts and achievements of members of the SERC college community.  We celebrate the success of a number of our students in their courses, highlight and reward activity in areas such as entrepreneurship, and work with the Student’s Union – an important part of the college experience - and celebrate staff, both teaching and non-teaching, who have been nominated by students and colleagues who want to highlight their impact on the SERC community."

She added, “At SERC we aim to be a world-class college.  We are committed to playing a part in supporting companies and individuals in Northern Ireland to grow and thrive.  SERC’s role is to deliver the skills, knowledge and attitudes which are necessary for businesses and organisations to flourish in the global context.   She concluded, “We are very proud to be shown as the highest achieving College in Northern Ireland, with a 91% success rate measured across the courses we provide at a range of levels and across a breadth of subject areas.   I am really proud to be associated with SERC.”  

SERC would like to thank everyone who made the evening so special, our guest speakers, master of ceremonies, the judging panel, our hospitality team and the student engineering company Cutting Edge who engraved the trophies.

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Good luck to everyone attending our Excellence Awards in Bangor tonight, 16 April, which will recognise the SERC community from Bangor, Newtownards and Holywood Campuses.