01 December 2015
Graduate and students secure gold, silver and bronze awards
Pic: Dr Hunt, CEO of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (left) with Chloe Walsh, Gold Medal Winner.
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has swept the board at a national competition for forensic science winning gold, silver and bronze awards.
Chloe Walsh, who graduated earlier this year with a first-class degree in forensic science and criminal investigation, won the top prize after beating off stiff competition from all over the country at the WorldSkills UK Skills Competition Finals three-day event at the NEC in Birmingham.
Current second year students on the same course; Nia Davies-Sheldon and Denise Epiboli won silver and bronze respectively.
The WorldSkills UK Skills Competition is an annual event that aims to inspire young people and adults to be ambitious in their pursuit of skills to the highest level. Through competition activity, the UK is able to share best practise in apprenticeships and vocational teaching, raising standards across the nation.
“It feels absolutely amazing to be awarded gold. I’m so proud that I pushed myself to do something that felt a little scary."
The UCLan students secured a place in the competition finals after scoring highly in the Forensic Science Competition heats which took place earlier this year. The Forensic Science Competition is managed by Complete Forensics C.I.C. and the medals were presented by the CEO of the Chartered Society of Forensic Science, Anya Hunt.
Chloe, 21 from Greasby on the Wirral, commented: “It feels absolutely amazing to be awarded gold. I’m so proud that I pushed myself to do something that felt a little scary. But I would do it all again. It's a brilliant feeling that doesn't come along that often.”
Each contestant in the forensic science category had to spend six hours analysing a mock murder crime scene as well as taking part in a laboratory workshop test. They also helped out with equipment demonstrations to the thousands of visitors.
Bronze medal winner Denise said: “Winning bronze was an unexpected surprise and I feel really honoured to receive it. We had to carry out a crime scene investigation of a fake murder scene for six hours and I personally really liked it. I wanted to test my abilities and it was great opportunity to perform outside of my comfort zone.”
Kevin Pritchard, Course Leader of UCLan’s BSc in Forensic Science and Criminal Investigation, said: “I am obviously enormously proud of my students’ achievements in achieving gold, silver and bronze medals at this year’s World Skills UK Forensic Science competition."
"I stress to my first year students that the benchmark set by previous students on my course is very high and this has been proved yet again by their achievements this year."
Kevin added: “This reflects the hard work and effort of the course team over the years ensuring that our students are as prepared as they can be for their biggest challenge after graduation, obtaining employment. I stress to my first year students that the benchmark set by previous students on my course is very high and this has been proved yet again by their achievements this year. I would like to once again say a big ‘well done’ to my students, I am very proud of you.”
Gary Howard, Managing Director of Complete Forensics C.I.C. who organise the forensic science competition, said: “In our third year of delivering this national competition the results are climbing and showing young people can really challenge themselves and excel in their chosen subject. It is a pleasure to see new champions able to take on even more new challenges and rise to the top of their profession while standards are being raised in the classrooms, the crime scenes and the laboratories.”
The Skills Show is the nation’s largest skills and careers event and helps to shape the future of a new generation. Attracting over 75,000 visitors annually, the show provides hands-on experiences that inspire young people to explore careers and motivates them to find out more about the world of work.
It is the second time UCLan has claimed all three prizes in this competition following success in 2013.