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Celebrating student success

Collage photo of students playing snooker and in the kitchen cooking

While coronavirus has changed the way National Star does things, it hasn’t stopped us from celebrating the successes of the students.

Awards that recognised the incredible efforts of the young people were presented during the Leavers’ Award Ceremonies in July.

Not one, but six virtual ceremonies were held during the final week of term, with more than 300 people often watching the celebrations online.

Frazer Peters received the PJ Crook Capturing Art Award in recognition of his hunger to learn, his willingness to try new things and his commitment to improving his skills in the creative arts.

He also won the Works Skills Award for his work in StarBistro and in Customer Services. He would actively meet and greet people in StarBistro. He quickly learned to use the new iPads for ordering at the table, showing real flexibility in the workplace.

Hereford student Tom Roberts won the Student Making a Difference Award for coming to the aid of a stranger. Tom overcame his own anxiety to help a passenger on a bus when the man suffered a seizure. Thomas kept the man safe, summoned help and stayed with him until he was certain he had the support that he needed.

When Jonathan Riando started at National Star, he was hoisted for all transfers. He can now sit to stand with assistance and is able to complete standing transfers. In his third year, Jonathan started walking with a Meywalker and take step transfers. Jonathan received the Physical Achievement Award.

Max Quinn won the Personal Development Award (Independence) in recognition of his determination to succeed. After an amazing start at National Star, adversity struck, leaving Max in hospital, temporarily blind and with significant restrictions on his life.

None of this deterred Max. He used every opportunity at National Star to regain skills, practise and improve on everything he did. He represented students on the Student Union and sat on interview panels for new staff. He leaves college with a Bronze Arts Award at Level 1, and is going into voluntary work.

When Charlotte Cook, who likes to be known as Charlie, started at National Star, she found it difficult being with others and needed frequent sensory breaks to regulate her emotions. She struggled to communicate her wants and needs and was often very unsure of what to say on her AAC device. 

Charlie won the Personal Development Award (Social Participation) for her exceptional progress. She has developed her range of communication skills and now uses her voice or AAC device to communicate. She will initiate interactions with others and loves to be with people.

We’re proud of all of this year’s leavers and everything they have achieved.

Other winners

  • Work Skills Award – Highly Commended: Francesca Vismara
  • Student Making a Difference Award – Highly Commended: Jason Felce
  • Alex Hassett Award for Assistive Communication – Highly Commended: Charlotte Cook
  • Physical Achievement Award – Highly Commended: Benjamin Bridges
  • Personal Development Award – Independence – Highly Commended: Bethan Rowlands
  • Personal Development Award – Social Participation – Highly Commended: James Bradley

Watch a video of Frazer and fellow student Ed Scipio’s poem about their time at National Star

Find out more

To find out more about National Star’s learning programmes email, call 01242 534928 or visit

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