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1st June 2015

The college came together in the last week of term to celebrate St Brendan’s Day with a range of exciting events. 

This annual celebration of St Brendan’s life and voyage also includes the Good Samaritan Awards and this year incorporated the official opening of our new building too! The day was themed around inspiration and aspiration, bringing together students, teachers, parents, primary school pupils and even celebrity guests, with a range of insightful events centred on the St Brendan’s ethos.  

 The Aspirational Alumni

The day began with several tutor groups being invited to an Alumni Panel session which aimed to inspire students with stories of achievement and determination (as well as the inevitable set-backs) and to help them on their own individual journeys. Chaired by TV presenter Sherrie Eugene-Hart, the panel comprised of five wonderfully different former St Brendan’s students: Patrick Hart; business man and radio director, Andi Ford; IT entrepreneur and theatre company owner, Joe Ironside; a Senior University Lecturer in Genetics, Molly Jenkins; a Criminology university student and musician and jewellery business-owner, Minka Gosling. The panel told their listeners about how they got to where they are today and shared the valuable pieces of advice from things they had learnt and done along the way.

The Good Samaritans

The Good Samaritan Awards commenced at mid-day and celebrated St Brendan’s and its talented students. Fitting with the theme of inspiration, the Lord Mayor presented a cheque, on behalf of St Brendan’s pupils and the SU, to the Teenage Cancer Trust. With an impressive £1224.94 being raised this year for the student’s chosen charity, this was a great opportunity to recognise the students’ hard work and tireless ambition. Next, (cue the tears) the Good Samaritan Award nominees were presented with well-deserved certificates for their hard work and selfless acts of kindness throughout the year – some highly inspirational stories Special congratulations to Runner-Up, Elliott Histon and Winner, Briony Bown, and a big thank you to incredibly talented music students Anna Enning, Kate Morrison and Jemima Murray for their performances too!

The Ribbon Cutting

As guests gathered in the afternoon sunshine, it was down to the Lord Mayor to officially open the new building. After a speech from Chair of Governors Olive Barnes (and an excitable countdown from the Aquinas Group children) the Lord Mayor cut the red ribbon to an enthusiastic round of applause from the crowd. This was followed by a blessing from Father Richard McKay and the Aquinas Group primary school children sang ‘You have called us’ perfectly, before guests began to make their way into the new Glasshouse Café.

The Inspirational Chef

To finish the day, guests helped themselves to a wonderful buffet as the highly engaging chef Paul Rankin made himself at home in the new café; demonstrating how to make healthy ‘student style’ meals on a budget and serving his creations to a lucky group of Student Union members! As hundreds of St Brendan’s students get ready to head off to higher education this September, the session was hugely informative for all!