Wisbech students Annabel and Ross shine at College of West Anglia’s awards ceremony

Serving the community award winner Ross Bennington, student of the year Annabel Homewood, and person

Serving the community award winner Ross Bennington, student of the year Annabel Homewood, and personal achievement winner Summer Roberts - Credit: Archant

A Wisbech art and design student who was told she would never get to university because of her dyslexia has been crowned College of West Anglia’s student of the year.

Annabel Homewood, who is a Level 3 student at the Wisbech campus, specialises in photography and has showcased her work at the college’s recent exhibition.

The 19-year-old, who was awarded for her “determination and dedication to her studies,” achieved a distinction star - the highest level of achievement.

Annabel, who will begin her degree in photography and video at De Montfort University in September, said: “To win overall student of the year is literally mind-blowing.

“I think I might wake up in the middle of the night and think ‘what just happened?’ - I never expected this at all. It’s an honour to get the recognition.”

Talking about university, she added: ““It’s going to be an amazing adventure; it’s something I have worked towards for years. I’m itching to go.”

Penny Sully, head of faculty for art and design at Wisbech, said: “Annabel is very positive towards her subject, as well as her student cohort, and gets involved in practical studio work quickly.

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“With dyslexia and home schooling having played a big part in her initial poor confidence when she arrived at college, Annabel has clearly shed this persona and is now ready for new challenges and further study in a subject she is passionate about.”

A Level 2 childhood studies student at the Wisbech CWA campus won this year’s Serving the Community award.

Ross Bennington took the title, having been nominated for the second year by his tutor Tara.

She said Ross, who volunteers for several community groups including the Salvation Army, should be “recognised for his continued support to his local community.

Ross also volunteers at a respite support group for children with additional needs. He volunteers in the evenings, alongside completing a full-time course within the care department.

He has also been offered employment after completing the college course thanks to his “consistent support”.

The Personal Achievement award was given to Summer Roberts, a Level 1 student at the CWA supported learning provision Providence Street.

Summer was nominated because of the “tremendous progress she has made since she first started at The Bridge to Inclusion,” said a CWA spokesman. She has now been at the Out-Centre for three years and her progression has been “outstanding”.

She also has art work displayed at the centre; a subject she is very passionate about. As a result of her hard work, she will be progressing to a main-site course in September and will no longer require a 1:1 tutor.

Erica Laws, course director, said: “I am exceptionally proud of this young lady and how far she has come.

“Despite the many challenges Summer has had to deal with, she still has the unique ability to put a smile on everyone’s face and demonstrate kindness.

“We wish her every success for the future.”