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Eastleigh College Awards Night

The award winners

Sue Lyons with award winners: Chesil Rectory Owner Mark Dodds, Eastleigh College’s Greg Cheeseman and former student, Michael Worth.

This week, staff from iTEC and VTCT attended the Eastleigh College Annual Awards Ceremony. With awards for staff, students, and partners, it was a showcase of the best and the brightest the college has to offer. The Hospitality and Catering Department, which uses VTCT qualifications, was well represented in not just the nominations, but for winning three of the nine top awards.

Michael Worth was the winner of the Governors’ Award for Exceptional Progression. This is an award presented to a student who has given an outstanding performance through the year, showing commitment and dedication regardless of what life throws at them. It’s an award that highlights individuals whose achievements make them an exceptional role model and brand ambassador for the college.

Sue Lyons, Curriculum Manager for Hospitality & Catering, said: “Michael came to us from the care system, so had very little support given to him before college and throughout. From the very beginning he was enthusiastic and passionate about the course and had high aspirations of success; wherever possible he volunteered for extra duties such as open events, helping out with Junior Chef and also a number of competitions. Michael will do amazing things with his career as he is driven and ambitious.”

Michael competed both locally and nationally during his time at Eastleigh College winning several competitions including

  • Finalist – The Seafood National Competition
  • Finalist – Young Restaurant Team of the year 2018
  • Medal winner – Hotel Olympia, Wessex and Hospitality Show

Michael was offered a part-time position with the Chesil Rectory Restaurant this summer and was due to return to Eastleigh College for a third year this autumn. However, the Restaurant offered him a full-time position which he has happily accepted and is now a permanent member of the team.

The Chesil Rectory Restaurant was the winner for the Employer/Partner of the Year. This award recognises employers and partners who have championed the work Eastleigh College does. Specifically offering a supportive and encouraging relationship with students, and actively working with the college to improve the overall experience and offering for students.

The Chesil Rectory Restaurant has worked together for a number of years with the Eastleigh College Hospitality and Catering Department, taking many of their students for work experience. They now employ 6 former students from the college on a full-time basis, both front of house and in the kitchen, a sign of their incredible working relationship.

Sue Lyons shared “The Chesil Rectory has also worked with our students by coming in and doing chef demonstrations and employability talks as well as a Guest Chef night in East Avenue Restaurant.

In May this year, they also hosted a ‘Restaurant Takeover’ where our second year students literally took over the kitchen and front of house and ran the restaurant for an evening.  Around 40 seats were booked as well as a private dining room. A four course menu was professionally cooked and served by our Level 2 students, working with our former students now employed there. We are grateful for everything they have done for our students over the years.”

The Chesil Rectory is a unique and historic restaurant independently owned and operated in Winchester.

Greg Cheeseman was the winner of the Staff Award for Innovation, which was sponsored by VTCT. This award is to recognise the extraordinary efforts of staff who have developed a new or existing innovative initiative, with the view to increase student numbers or improve work efficiencies in their area of work or across the college.

Sue Lyons, who nominated Greg for this award, shared: “I nominated Greg Cheeseman for this award as he is always looking for new ways to promote and change things in order to stretch the students, drive the department and publicise the college as a whole.”

Since joining the college around 6 years ago, Greg has educated and inspired students to be their very best and work to high standards so they then succeed in industry. He has helped organise amazing work experience that has enabled students to gain part-time and full-time jobs in addition to taking students on educational trips to gain insight into different career paths within the industry. He also developed the Junior Chef Academy that works with local schools and has been very successful in getting year 9, 10 and 11 school children interested in professional cookery.

Sue shares “Greg has been a great mentor and role model to all our students, including the junior chefs. The Junior Chef Academy has been running successfully for about 3 years and has been a great progression onto our courses.”

Greg also runs the social media for East Avenue Restaurant, located at Eastleigh College Main Campus. You can follow them on Facebook here.