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Aspiration Awards 2023: Learner of the Year – Harry Disney
The Learner of the Year category recognises individuals who are developing themselves through vocational qualifications from NCFE and making positive improvements to their lives. This year’s winner is Harry Disney, who is currently studying the T Level in Health at Loughborough College.
Described as a “hardworking individual, who gives his all to everything he does”, Harry has demonstrated his passion for the health sector and helping others to achieve.
Making a difference to the local community
Harry started volunteering with St John's Ambulance when he was 16. While in this volunteer role, he regularly gave up his time to provide first aid cover for large events in and around Nottingham including football matches, marathons and music events. Harry’s involvement with St John's Ambulance reinforced his desire to pursue a career in emergency medicine.
When Harry passed his driving test, he trained to be a volunteer First Responder for the Ambulance Service, which was the next step in his emergency medicine career. He’s frequently the first on the scene to 999 calls, reassuring the patients and making them comfortable until the paramedics arrive.
An exceptional learner
Being someone who learns best through a mixture of practical experience and academic study, Harry decided that the best route for him to become a paramedic would be with the T Level in Health qualification. Using his volunteering experience, Harry has been able to share his knowledge and experience with his peers and is an excellent role model and mentor in practical sessions.
He has led sessions in resuscitation, borrowing kit from the First Response team to help with this, and this has helped his classmates to understand practical elements of the qualification He’s been described by his tutor as ‘very, very generous with his time and his experience’.
Harry said: “Volunteering outside of college allows me to bring the knowledge I’ve learned on the job into the classroom, where I can explain this to my friends, especially during the practical activities. This helps them gain a rounded experience from a teacher but also me as a student, who is out there doing the job.”
Harry finds exams and exam-style assessments quite stressful and challenging, however, being a determined young person, he always gives 100% and will not let it get in the way of his dreams.
A bright future ahead
Harry has been offered places at multiple universities to study paramedic science after successfully completing his applications and interviews.
Harry passing on his knowledge and skills to a fellow Loughborough College student
Kate Storr, T Level Co-Ordinator at Loughborough College, said: “Harry sprung to mind immediately for this award because of the amount of work he does and his dedication. He’s always had a goal in mind, and he’s gone for it! He’s a very deserving winner and it’s heartwarming to see him receive this award.”
Catherine Sezen, Interim Director of Education Policy at the Association of Colleges and judge of this award said: “Congratulations to Harry on his well-deserved award. I was inspired by his dedication to his Health T level, his impressive record of volunteering and the way that he used his experience to help support others on this course. Harry will make a great paramedic.”
Congratulations Harry! To read more inspirational stories from this year's award winners and recipients, visit our Aspiration Awards 2023 page.
Learner of the Year 2023: Harry Disney
Watch: see Harry Disney receive his award
Our Apprentice of the Year winner is 16-year-old Christopher Ademola, an Adult Care Worker Level 2 apprentice studying through Salford City College, who is helping to improve the lives of those he cares for.
Our Against All Odds winner is Gabriella Fox, an inspiring individual who began studying her Level 2 Certificate in Creative Craft (Cookery) remotely through Technology Triumphs in January 2022.
Our Centre of the Year winner is Learning Curve Group, who impressed the judges with their dedication to their learners’ needs, ensuring that every learner receives equal opportunities.