Dearne student clinches award

Bethany Pritchard with award
Bethany Pritchard with award
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Big-hearted Bethany Pritchard has won an outstanding student award, while doing great work for dementia charities as a volunteer.

Dearne Valley College student Bethany received her BTEC Child and Social Care Student of the Year award from Radio 1 Presenter Gemma Cairney in London.

This followed a reception she attended with her tutor in the House of Commons.

Bethany, 17, was nominated after overcoming barriers in her personal life that included being bullied at a young age.

But her determination to succeed after home schooling then courses at Dearne Valley College led to fantastic results.

She has now secured a coveted place on the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Cadetship programme.

And alongside her studies, Bethany dedicates much of her spare time to volunteering for a local dementia charity for people aged under 65 who have been diagnosed with the condition.

Her longer term ambitions include studying mental health nursing at university.

She also aims to establish an independent charity with her father. This will be to facilitate social events for patients who have dementia and their carers.

She said of her award: “My journey on the BTEC course to date has given me a fantastic insight into my future career as a Mental Health Professional.

“I’m a firm believer in hard work and striving to achieve to the best of my ability, and to be recognised for this on a national level is a huge honour for me; I will treasure it!”

The glitzy Hollywood-style ceremony at which Bethany was handed her award is hosted annually by Pearson, the awarding body who owns BTEC qualifications.

It recognises student successes from each learning sector .

This year, the presentation ceremony featured a video message from Dragon’s Den favourite, Peter Jones.

There were also performances from fellow BTEC students and inspirational speeches were given by award-winning entrepreneur, Zoe Jackson MBE, and British adventurer, Ash Dykes.

Bethany, of Swinton, is pictured (centre) receiving her award with Gemma Cairney, left, and last year’s winner Stephanie Trembath.

Anyone who would like more information about Health and Social Care courses, or other lines of study at Dearne Valley College, should call 01709 513355 or email learn@dearne-coll.ac.uk

Alternatively, visit the Dearne Valley College website at www.dearne-coll.ac.uk for details about specific courses and apprenticeships that are on offer.