Cheshire College learner named an Adult Student of the Year finalist in prestigious AoC Awards

Part-time Cheshire College learner, Scott Bailey, has been named a finalist of the Association of Colleges’ Student of the Year Awards – Adult Student of the Year category. The annual awards celebrate learners who stand out from the crowd, have gone above and beyond, whether in college or their local community.  

At the age of 27, Scott started to lose his sight after being diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy and was registered blind just three years later. As a dairy farmer by trade, Scott was unable to continue working in the industry. Scott joined Cheshire College’s Crewe Campus in 2020 to gain new skills that would help him achieve his dream of becoming a Counsellor.   

Scott and his guide dog, Milo, are committed to raising awareness and helping others who are experiencing sight loss due to diabetes. Sharing his experience of how his life has been transformed since being matched with Milo and returning to education, Scott recently featured on ITV’s This Morning and earlier this month hit the screens as part of Guide Dog UK’s new festive advert. 

Scott commented: “When I found out I was shortlisted I was taken aback and felt a little overwhelmed, but most of all I felt extremely proud of all my achievements. This is just a small milestone in my journey of inspiring other people with a disability to follow their dreams.”  

Dhesi, Principal and CEO at Cheshire College, said: “Scott is a remarkable learner with an inspiring story. Scott’s exceptional journey demonstrates the power of education and what can be achieved with the right attitude, drive and ambition. When you speak to Scott’s tutors, the words they use to describe him are ‘kind’, ‘giving’, ‘supportive’, ‘inclusive’ and what makes him stand out from the crowd is his dedication to succeeding, not only improving himself but also empowering others to do the same. We are incredibly proud of his achievements!”  

Sally Dicketts, President of the Association of Colleges, said: “The Student of the Year Awards rightly shine a light on individuals who have made a significant impact in their college and/or community. It is incredible to hear the inspirational stories of the adult finalists and the fantastic work they are doing in their college and they should be extremely proud of their achievements.”  

The finalists were announced at the Association of Colleges’ Annual Conference in Birmingham, which showcases the ways that colleges are transforming the lives of more than two million people across England and how vital colleges are to the future of the British economy in the 21st Century.  

The judging panel was made up of members of the AoC Charitable Trust Board and AoC President. All the judges were very impressed by the variety of inspirational stories and the success achieved by the learners. 

As the largest provider of post-16 education in the region with Campuses in Crewe, Ellesmere Port and Chester, Cheshire College has over 11,000 learners and 1,000 Apprentices and works with more than 500 local, national and international employers to offer offers a range of courses from Entry Level to Level 7. To find out more visit www.ccsw.ac.uk – Your Career Starts Here.