Shortlisted Student

Trafford College student Matt Holmes, has reached the final of a national competition that celebrates the outstanding achievements of students across the country.

Matt, 25, is one of three students to be shortlisted for the final of the Association of Colleges (AoC) Student of the Year Award 2014.  He was nominated for his commitment to restarting his education as an adult in order to achieve employment, as well as not letting his disabilities as an amputee with cerebral palsy get in his way.

Sir Bill Fiona Halyburton matt Holmes and mother Audrey Holmes

The winner and runners-up will be announced at the AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition in Birmingham on 19 November.

Matt commented: “I’m absolutely shocked and thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award. I’m very grateful to have received the opportunities I have and I feel very positive about my future. My confidence has grown immensely as a result of my time at the College and in the workplace, and I feel really lucky to have worked alongside so many fantastic people who have put so much faith in my abilities. I’m really excited about the future.”

Trafford College Principal, Sir Bill Moorcroft, added: “I am both delighted and extremely proud of Matt’s success in being shortlisted for a prestigious AoC Student of the Year Award. His hard work and dedication has inspired all who have been lucky enough to work or study alongside him, and his achievements in the workplace have been spectacular.

“Matt is a wonderful ambassador for Adult and Supported Learning, as well as being an inspirational role model for others who may feel that a successful working life is unattainable.He has demonstrated that with hard work and determination, you can be successful no matter what your circumstances. We wish him every success for his future.”

AoC President Richard Atkins, who led the judging panel, said: “This year’s nominations for the Student of the Year Awards were of an exceptionally high standard and it is both humbling and heart-warming to see the impact that further education has on the lives of so many of its students.

“Matt’s determination, spirit and motivation are truly inspiring and make him a worthy contender for this national award.”

The competition aims to highlight outstanding student achievement, often in adversity, while celebrating the amazing success stories so common to the sector.

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Trafford College is a leading provider of education and training in Greater Manchester. With a £50m investment in world-class facilities, an innovative approach to learning and exceptional links with some of the borough’s most significant employers, students are given a platform from which they can achieve their full potential.