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UCLan student wins national employability award

13 July 2015

Lyndsey Boardman

Mature student Nigel recognised for efficiently combining work and studies

A mature student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has won a national award for his part-time work at the University’s Students’ Union (SU).

Nigel Farnworth, a 41-year-old postgraduate integrative psychotherapy student, was given a Highly Commended Award at the National Association of Student Employment Services (NASES) Student of the Year Awards for his work in the UCLan SU helping students find jobs and work placement opportunities.

The awards recognise and promote the outstanding contributions and achievements of students who effectively combine part-time work with their study commitments.

Nigel has won his award in the Job Shop category, which is specifically for students who work on campus for a student employment service. He has worked in the Bridge Employment Service since last year and previous to that held several roles in the SU and the University including working as part of the Welcome Team aiding new students.

Nigel beat off fierce competition in the regional heat before progressing to the national final and winning the Highly Commended Award in his category.

He commented: “I am delighted to win this award and am grateful that I am able to work as part of such an amazing team. The UCLan SU is a fantastic organisation to work for and without the support of my colleagues I wouldn’t be able to excel in my role.”

“Quite simply, if it wasn’t for Nigel's work this academic year, the agency would not be functioning in the manner it is today.”

Carrie House, Recruitment Co-ordinator at the SU, nominated Nigel for the prize.

She said: “Since he started his employment with us last year Nigel has been an asset to the Bridge Employment Service. He is an exceptional administrator, whose reliability and skills enable the Bridge to provide paid work experience to students. Quite simply, if it wasn’t for Nigel's work this academic year, the agency would not be functioning in the manner it is today.

“Nigel is always looking for new challenges, and has taken on additional projects and responsibilities since starting his employment. He has improved the efficiency and accuracy of our administration by bringing in new systems and analysed diversity monitoring data, which will have a wider impact on the Students’ Union as an employer.”

In addition to a busy schedule of work and his studies, Preston resident Nigel has had work placements as a student counsellor at Lancaster University and at Fylde Coast Counselling. For the last three years he has been an active member of the UCLan Creative Communities Group (CCG) which places a big emphasis on community engagement.

He added: “I truly believe in the value and importance of community engagement for an organisation as large as UCLan. The ability to volunteer along with my studies, work and placements is important to me and my sense of well-being. These valuable transferable skills and the confidence that I gained working with the CCG have contributed to the award.”