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Annual Awards ceremony for Preston’s future construction stars

Our charitable subsidiary, Preston Vocational Centre (PVC) celebrated the success of the school and sixth form learners with its Annual Awards Evening on 5th July.

PVC provides hands-on opportunities in different areas of construction, including plastering, joinery, decorating and brickwork. During the ceremony, students received their City & Guilds qualifications, with some gaining special awards for their outstanding work in particular trades.

Winners received trophies and a fully equipped tool-set to set them up for their future careers.


pvc all students

Rob Wakefield, Chief Executive of Community Gateway Association, said:

“Congratulations to each of the students for achieving such fantastic results. You should be proud of everything you have achieved. Well done too to your PVC teachers, who are totally committed to what they do. When the lockdowns happened and they were unable to teach, they took to the streets helping Gateway deliver food to vulnerable people. As soon as they were allowed, they launched a new blended learning programme for their students. The last few years of the pandemic were challenging for so many people, but PVC kept going, mainly due to the really strong partnerships they have developed with local schools and businesses. PVC is transforming the lives of local young people and adults within the heart of our communities, and we’re proud to have them in our family..”

Centre Manager Martin Grayston added:

“I would like to congratulate all our students who have worked so hard this year and gained a recognised qualification. It’s great to see so many of our young people gaining new skills, grow in confidence and progress onto an apprenticeship, job or further training. This is the most rewarding part of my job. I am proud of every one of them, as I am my team who work hard to support everyone who comes through our door. It’s been an extra special academic year for us, having won the prestigious Be Inspired Business Awards (BIBAs) 2021 for Educational Establishment of the Year, which gives us the reassurance that we are delivering training to the highest level.”

His words were echoed by Mick Higgins, Chair of the Board who presented the trophies. Mick, Founder of local company XAcom also paid tribute to the many organisations who supported PVC, whether that be financially or with building materials over the year.

The 2021-22 student winners were:


  • Student of the Year Award –James Smallshaw, Sponsored by Conlon Construction
  • Best All Round Ability– Harkin McCauley, Sponsored by David Wilson Homes
  • Best All Round Ability – Paul Fisher, Sponsored by Community Gateway Association
  • Most Improved Student– Alex Sumner, Sponsored by Travis Perkins
  • Volunteer of the Year– Dave Pauley, Sponsored by Sika
  • Outstanding Achievement in Brickwork  – Finn Kelly, Sponsored by Persimmon Homes
  • Outstanding Achievement in Plastering– Mathew Child, Sponsored by JFN
  • Outstanding Achievement in Plumbing – Mathew Todd, Sponsored by XAcom
  • Outstanding Achievement in Joinery and Carpentry – Warren Wright, Sponsored by CCH Joinery
  • Outstanding Achievement in Painting and Decorating – Tyler Wickham, Sponsored by Seddon
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