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UCLan Forensics Student honoured with Gold Award

09 June 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Local MP presents Laura with prestigious prize

Preston MP Mark Hendrick has presented a University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student with an award after she missed out on receiving it at a glittering award ceremony in London in February due to adverse weather conditions.

Mark Hendrick visited the University to present Forensic Science student Laura Bailey with a gold award after she won the top prize at the WorldSkills UK Forensic Science competition organised by Complete Forensics. UCLan swept the board at the event with two other students being named as runners up. Laura Bailey, Jacob Payne and Claire Pickering won gold, silver and bronze respectively and were all handed a year’s free membership of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

Laura was due to travel to London to be presented her award in February, however severe weather conditions and train delays prevented her from reaching the event to collect her award.

In recognition of her achievement, the University and competition organisers Complete Forensics invited Mr Hendrick to present her Award during a specially arranged ceremony at the University.

“Being involved in the WorldSkills UK National Competition was an honour and I would recommend it to any student! It's been a fantastic year for me, and I must take time to thank my lecturers and WorldSkills for this amazing opportunity.”

Laura said: “Having won the gold medal for Forensic Science in November last year, I was greatly looking forward to attending the event in London. Unfortunately this was hampered by poor weather and train delays causing me to miss the event.

“Nevertheless, I am over the moon about receiving this award. Being involved in the WorldSkills UK National Competition was an honour and I would recommend it to any student! It's been a fantastic year for me, and I must take time to thank my lecturers and WorldSkills for this amazing opportunity.”

The competition took place late last year to find the country’s top apprentices, employers and learners during a three day event at the NEC Birmingham where entrants were given a series of forensic science tests to complete. The UCLan students made up three of the eight finalists following a series of regional heats. They had to give a 20 minute presentation on the role of the first attending officer, take part in a four hour crime scene examination of an armed robbery of a post office and undertake a 20 minute examination and cross examination in court.

“The number of successful entrants from one University department in a national competition is testament to the quality of teaching provided.”

Presenting the awards Mark Hendrick said: “I have previously visited the Forensic Science Department and been impressed by the excellent resources and teaching facilities on offer for the students undertaking the Forensic Sciences course.

“The number of successful entrants from one University department in a national competition is testament to the quality of teaching provided. I wish Laura all the best for the future and hope that this deserved recognition kick-starts her career to enable her to rise to the top of her profession.”

Sue Carney, Lead Judge Worldskills UK Forensic Science Competition, said: “World Skills is an inspirational event. To maintain the UK's status as a world leader in forensic science, forensic practitioners have a duty to pass on our expertise to the next generation and I can't think of a more enjoyable way of achieving that. It was an honour to take part as lead judge and a pleasure to witness the determination and dedication of the competitors. Well done to them all.”