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Outstanding Achievement award for student who refused to be held back by accident

Category: Achievements, City College Norwich, student, Higher Education, Student Support, A Levels, Rehabilitation, Further Education


Electrical installation student Charlie Winter has been presented with the Outstanding Achievement in Construction Award, sponsored by Kier – and he was also named winner of The Governor’s Award for Outstanding Student Achievement at our annual FE Awards celebration.

Riding his motorbike into college for one of his last exams in the summer, Charlie was involved in a traffic accident that resulted in the lower half of his right leg having to be amputated.

Despite the huge shock of the accident and the life-changing injury it has caused, Charlie was determined to get back to college at the earliest opportunity to complete his exams.

Electrical installation is something I’ve always wanted to do.  To do two years of it and then just throw it in after that, I thought, ‘I’m not doing that’.  As soon as I came out of hospital I thought, ‘I’m going to do my exams’.”

Staff from the college put the necessary arrangements in place so that Charlie would be able to sit his final two exams, a couple of weeks later than his peers, and supported him in doing this.

Despite everything he had been through, Charlie performed extremely well in those final exams, only narrowly missing out on a distinction in one of them.  This September he has returned to the college to begin the level 3 electrical installation course.

Charlie initially felt apprehensive about returning to college, but he says that his lecturers and classmates have been extremely supportive. 

It’s gone better than I thought.  I was worried about it to start with, although I wanted to come back and I was going to do it anyway, it’s a big change to my whole life.”

Commenting on the support and flexibility shown by the college, Charlie says he feels supported “a million percent”.  He says his lecturer, Jamie Parslow-Williams, “has been brilliant. He’s done everything to make it better for me.”

Although Charlie is someone who prefers not to be in the limelight, he says that the FE Award means a lot and that his family were “over the moon” with his achievement.  

That was good because it’s my first achievement since the accident. It was quite a big thing really. When I sit and think about it, it is quite an achievement.” 

Looking to the future, Charlie remains focused on applying his electrical skills in the construction industry.  He is looking at all his options, including degree-level study. 

Charlie is as determined as ever not to be held back by his accident.  This is apparent not only through his decision to continue working towards becoming an electrician, but also in regaining his independence by completing his driving lessons and recently passing his driving test.

You’ve just got to keep going, haven’t you?  I think whatever happens you can still live a good life and you’ve just got to keep going and don’t let it beat you.”

Jamie Parslow-Williams, Construction Lecturer, City College Norwich, who nominated Charlie for the FE Award said:

Charlie is one of those no fuss students who attend college, achieve to a great standard, support their peers and are no trouble at all within the classes.  His drive to overcome what has happened to him, and his courage in overcoming the obstacles he’s encountered, is a real inspiration to others.”

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City College Norwich

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