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Cornwall College lecturer scoops national teaching award

Published: 4th March 2021

A trust of national educators has named a lecturer from Cornwall College Newquay as one of its 2021 ‘outstanding educator’ awards. 

Brender Willmott, who has been the project officer for the Beach Rangers Academy for the last five yearsscooped the award, which is overseen by The Trust of the Worshipful Company of Educators. 

Principal and chief executive of The Cornwall College Group, John Evans said he was “incredibly proud” to put Brender forward for the recognition.  

“Brender has implemented and overseen the most inspiring and rewarding environmental and educational programme, which has had an incredibly positive effect on thousands of young lives in Cornwall and beyond.  

“The Beach Rangers Academy programme, part of the Your Shore Beach Rangers project, was created to provide young people with the educational component of the overarching programme, with activity delivered by experts in their field. 

“Through this, Brender has inspired a generation of people into environmental endeavours. 

He continued: “This would be an achievement anywhere, but to do so in the second poorest region of the country and the resulting social challenges, is simply outstanding.” 

Through her work, Brender has ensured that young people who enrolled on The Beach Rangers Academy Programme understood their interaction with the environment in which they live. 

The project has focussed on tackling issues around plastics, climate change and conservation in the areas they know, the lessons are meaningful and have lasting repercussions.  

Mr Evans added: “The four walls of the classroom are rarely seen, as most learning takes place on the coast. COVID has brought challenges, but they have been overcome with online delivery.  

“Through the reward-scheme structure, Brender has also overseen a programme that delivers a sense of achievement and pride for young people, while delivering tangible benefits in terms of qualifications for future careers. 

“It has been particularly rewarding to see learners progress on to careers in the environmental sector and the green economy, or into post graduate education in this field. 

Announcing the eight winners in the category of ‘inspirational educator’, which this year followed the theme of ‘environmental education’, The Chairman of the Trust, Dr Jennifer Somerville, said was delighted with the response to the call for nominations. 

“This year of the COVID-19 pandemic has been horrendous for the education sector,” she said. 

“Leaders, teachers and governors of our schools, colleges and universities faced the enormous challenge of converting to online institutions. And let’s not forget the myriad of charities who have transformed their specialist and enriching learning into virtual experiences for students.  Yet they all found the time to nominate some of the most outstanding candidates we have ever had. It has been a most humbling experience.” 

The Cornwall College Group is continuing to invest heavily in staff training, facilities and student experiences. 

For those interested in seeing what is on offer at the group’s campuses across Cornwall and Devon, a wide range of virtual open events are currently being held, visit www.cornwall.ac.uk for more information.  

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