A young mum from Llantrisant has been awarded for her outstanding commitment to her studies while balancing a busy family life.
Victoria Windsor, who has just completed a Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies, was named Coleg y Cymoedd learner of the year at the annual UHOVI (Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute) Learner of the Year awards, held on Wednesday 18th June at Redhouse, Merthyr Tydfil.
When she started the course at the college’s Rhondda campus, Victoria lacked confidence in her academic ability, but instantly impressed her tutors with her professional attitude to her studies. She was nominated by Shan Bowen and Helen Morgan, who described her as a highly motivated student who uses her wealth of childcare experience to good effect.
They added: “Victoria has excelled in the employment experience element of the course, demonstrating a genuine desire to support children’s development. Her personal attitude and contribution make her a positive role model for all childcare practitioners.”
Victoria, who hopes to become a qualified primary school teacher, added: “Winning this award was a complete surprise but I’m so happy that my tutors have believed in me. Becoming a teacher was always something I’d wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure I could. Going to college has helped me get closer to achieving my dream, and all the hard work is definitely proving to be worth it!”
The hosts of the event were Heart FM’s Jagger and Woody, with special guest Dr Rhys Jones presenting the awards. As a scientist and TV presenter, Dr Rhys is best known for his hit series Rhys to the Rescue and Rhys Jones’s Wildlife Patrol. He is a leading herpetologist (snake specialist) and has a degree in Zoology and Genetics, along with a PhD in British reptile conservation.
Part of the University of South Wales, UHOVI provides opportunities to study higher education courses at venues across the Valleys region. Working in partnership with further education colleges, businesses, local authorities and work based learning providers, UHOVI is inspiring people to continue or return to education in order to improve their skills or gain a qualification.
University of South Wales Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director of UHOVI Graham Rogers said: “UHOVI has gone from strength to strength, providing a first class learning experience for students and working with communities to raise aspirations. The award winning students are truly inspirational and it is a privilege to be able to share their stories which demonstrate how learning can make a positive difference to the lives of individuals and their families.”
Dr Rhys Jones, who presented the awards during the evening, added: “I am delighted to be able to recognise the achievements of these outstanding individuals. Their hard work and dedication is of great credit to them, their tutors and their proud families who have supported them along their academic journey. I wish them every success in their future careers.”