YORK College students were celebrated at this year’s REACH awards.

The awards saw college students celebrate their achievements with families, friends, their tutors and sponsors of the evening, which aims to reward excellence and celebrate hard work.

These accolades included Ella Clarkson, a law student who has become the first member of her family to apply for university and who received the Principal’s Award, and Sarah Craigen, a student who has engaged in theological and philosophical discussions with the Archbishop of York and received the Governors’ Award.


Law & Critical Thinking tutor Clare Kirton nominated both Ella and Sarah for their awards – commending them for their tireless work ethics and quality of their character, with Ella reaching the final selection for a prestigious degree apprenticeship and Sarah involving herself in extracurricular and charity events.

Principle Ken Merry spoke, said: “Some of the students here tonight have overcome adversity to be successful, others have worked really hard to achieve the things they have, and others have just simply been excellent.

“However, one thing that they all have in common is that they are wonderful ambassadors for the college in everything that they do.”

There were four In Memoriam Awards presented to students who have left a lasting legacy from their time at the college.

The Liv Willo Award for Dance was presented to Olivia Wong and awarded in memory of Livia Wilson, who suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from Meningitis at the age of 19 at 2022. Members of her family were in attendance.  

The LIAM Award for Music winner was Anna Murray and the LIAM Award for Art winner was Daria Lidia Kosmalska.

LIAM stands for Laughter, Inspiration, Art and Music and the LIAM Charity was set up in memory of Liam Miller, a former Music and Art student at York College, who passed away in 2015.

Natalie and Peter Miller, from the LIAM Charity, were in attendance.

The final memoriam award was Caroline’s Rainbow Foundation Award for Psychology was presented to Charlotte Jell.

It is awarded in memory of former A-level psychology student Caroline Stuttle with the Foundation having been set up to provide safer travel information to the next generation of world explorers, so they can fully realise both the importance of travel safety and the benefits of world travel. Caroline’s mother Marjorie Marks-Stuttle and brother Richard Stuttle presented the award.

The night’s other winners were:

Adult Learner of the Year (sponsored by Mindful Education): Helena Coughlin

Young Learner of the Year (sponsored by Rollits Solicitors): Marcus Robinson

T Level Student of the Year (sponsored by Iain Scott Fabrications): Chloe Cruwys

Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Severfield): Matthew Clayton

Art & Design Student of the Year (sponsored by Spark: York): Mercedes Toon

Business, Tourism and Hospitality Student of the Year (sponsored by The Grand): Sophie Newbould

Construction Student of the Year (sponsored by Henry Boot): Mohammad Omar

GCSE English and Maths Student of the Year (sponsored by Middletons Hotel): Kieran Pearson

Hair, Beauty & Media Make-up Student of the Year (sponsored by the Vocational Training Charitable Trust): Ryan Williams

Health & Social Care Student of the Year (sponsored by Barchester Healthcare): Zak Kelly

ESOL Student of the Year (sponsored by the York City of Sanctuary): Haroon Ahmadzai

Humanities & Social Sciences Student of the Year (sponsored by Mr Chippy): Isaac Shoffren

Science & Mathematics Student of the Year (sponsored by Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group): Tristan Stasiak-Gray

Pathway to Work & Independent Living Student of the Year (sponsored by the York Pullman Bus Company): Thomas Scott

Performance & Production Student of the Year (supported by The Island and St Leonard’s Hospice charities): Samuel Massie

Sport & Uniformed Protective Services Student of the Year (sponsored by Better): Rebecca Sidwell

Engineering Student of the Year (sponsored by Britcom International): Callum Moxon

Digital Technologies Student of the Year (sponsored by Dovetail & Slate): David Badowski

Early Years & Education Student of the Year (sponsored by The York Roast Co): Adam Charlesworth

The following students received Highly Commended certificates: Milly Haigh, Madelyn Harrison, Dylan Jones, Joseph Sherlock, Sophie Todd, Hana Sheban-Saleh, Isaac Durham, Ella Clarkson, Izzy Robinson, Edward Wilkinson, Emma Cherkasova, Kieran Pearson, Tabitha Payne, Efe Kurt, Cyprus-Jay McLarney, Evie Tuke, Robbie Crawford and Sam Conyers.