Virtual ceremony sees Cheshire College learners praised at Freemen and Guilds Awards 2020

Earlier this week (Wednesday 4 November 2020), Cheshire College – South & West virtually celebrated the academic and personal achievements of 17 learners and Apprentices from across the region, studying at the College.  

The Freemen and Guilds Awards began in 1968, however the medieval Guilds have been associated with the recruitment and training of Apprentices for centuries. The prizes are considered as a renewal of a historic bond between the Guilds and Education and symbol of encouragement and esteem for young people. 

The Freemen and Guilds is made up of 23 companies including the Joiners and Carvers Company, Saddlers and Curriers, Cappers, Pinners, Wiredrawers and Linen Drapers and Barber Surgeons, Wax and Tallow Chandlers Company. 

Niamh Weaver, 18, from Ellesmere Port, studying Art and Design Extended Diploma, Level 3, received the Weavers Award.  

Niamh commented: “It is such a privilege to receive this award. I was really surprised to have been nominated but it has given me much more confidence in my ability to complete the second year of the course.  

“After leaving school, I realised that I wanted to specialise in art. I loved the feel of the College and how welcoming the tutors were.  

“I feel I have grown as a person since starting this course and love that the course allows me to create in a way that suits my style of working.  

“I hope to go on to university to study Textiles when I finish my course.”  

Another successful learner was, Thomas Goldsmith, 23, from Saltney studying Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles Diploma, Level 3, received the Saddlers and Curriers Award.  

Thomas commented: “I chose to study at the College because the course sounds really interesting.  

“All of the tutors are extremely supportive, and the Chester Campus is really vibrant and energetic.  

“I have had so many new opportunities and experiences, which I hope will help me secure a higher Apprenticeship in the future.” 

Ian Dutton, President, Freemen and Guilds of the City of Chester, said: “Our awards have been a proud and important component of the annual calendar for over 50 years and despite what has been a challenging year, we are delighted to be collaborating with Cheshire College to celebrate the success of local learners.  

“The opportunity to recognise excellence, hard work, genuine talent and skills is extremely important to us and every year it becomes a more rewarding experience.  

“Thanks to the continued support of Dhesi, his Leadership Team and his talented staff, we have been able to continue rewarding the efforts of this year’s cohort virtually – no mean task, however, we have embraced it every step of the way! It brings a wry smile to my face to consider what our predecessors would make of our virtual ceremony.  

“Congratulations to everyone involved.” 

Dhesi, Principal and CEO at Cheshire College – South & West, said: “This is a very special evening for Cheshire College – South & West. These Awards are a long-standing tradition that recognises the historic link between our College and the Freemen and Guilds. 

“It is an honour to be celebrating another year of partnership with the Freemen and Guilds and a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the achievement of our learners. 

“We are immensely proud of the winners who have demonstrated that through hard work and dedication, you can achieve your academic and personal goals. Well done everyone!” 

You can watch the virtual awards ceremony on the College’s YouTube channel (link).  

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus) 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port & Chester Campuses) or visit

Ancient and Worshipful Company of Bricklayers Award
Innholders, Cooks and Victuallers Company Award
Joiners and Carvers Company Award