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2014

November 2014

  1. Student success at Derwentside College

    21 student superstars were shining brightly as they celebrated at Derwentside College’s Annual Achievement Awards ceremony in November.  The evening was attended by over 250 guests from across the region, with 21 students receiving special…

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    21 student superstars were shining brightly as they celebrated at Derwentside College’s Annual Achievement Awards ceremony in November.  The evening was attended by over 250 guests from across the region, with 21 students receiving special awards for academic excellence and personal endeavour.  Two of these awards were sponsored by Sir Bob Murray, both for Personal Achievement- Louise Bowman (Employability Skills) and Kerrieanne Derbyshire (Prince’s Trust).

    Sir Bob commented: “I am very proud to be associated with Derwentside College in my home-town of Consett and delighted to sponsor the special  awards for outstanding personal achievement. I would like to congratulate Louise and Kerrieanne on their awards and wish them every success in the future.”

    Guest presenters at the ceremony were Gary Philipson and Lisa Shaw from Heart Radio North East, whilst Andrew Hodgson, CEO of Wallsend based SMD and Vice Chair of the North East LEP was the College’s Guest of Honour.

    The evening culminated with the announcement of Student of the Year which was presented to Mark Stewart, an Advanced Apprentice at Pinnacle Re-Tec, based in Consett, for his outstanding achievements demonstrated throughout his studies. Mark said, “I was thrilled to have been nominated for an award, but to win Student of the Year was absolutely fantastic.  The proudest moment was knowing that my family, my employer and my assessor were there to see this.”

    Principal and Chief Executive, Karen Redhead said, “Our Awards evening is about celebrating success, the success of individuals in achieving their goals by progressing to further and higher education, by securing employment and the success of the college working with employers to raise skill levels and improve quality.”

    “Success rates on our classroom-based courses are very high, placing us again in the top 10 percent of all colleges in the country for the majority of our programmes and we have maintained this strong position for the last four years.  In the last 12 months alone we have delivered learning aims to 10,759 students, we had 5,234 apprentices in 20 different occupational areas of learning and we worked with 1,159 employers.”

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2013
  1. Sir Bob Murray with Electrical Engineering student Mandy Davison and her two children

    Sir Bob returns to his roots

    Sir Bob returned to his roots in November as guest of honour at Derwentside College’s Annual Awards ceremony in his hometown of Consett. Bob was invited to speak at the ceremony and personally sponsored four…

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    Sir Bob Murray with Electrical Engineering student Mandy Davison and her two children

    Sir Bob returned to his roots in November as guest of honour at Derwentside College’s Annual Awards ceremony in his hometown of Consett.

    Bob was invited to speak at the ceremony and personally sponsored four new special achievement awards which he presented to students.

    Sir Bob said; “I was thrilled to be invited to Derwentside College’s annual awards ceremony to be guest speaker.  As a former student it was a great opportunity to share my personal story and demonstrate the power of education to transform a young person’s life – namely my own.

    “I left school with just one O-Level, and with twice as many people looking for jobs due to the baby boom after the war, I was unemployed for a year. It was a really difficult time for me and changed my outlook on life forever.

    “I realised the value and importance of education and studied part time for the next ten years to further my education and never looked back. I am truly passionate about education.

    “I had a wonderful evening meeting the students and their families and celebrating their outstanding achievements and success.

    “It was also fantastic to see how Derwentside College has invested and expanded in recent years by working closely with regional employers, advancing apprenticeships and growing student numbers. It is a highly respected institution and has grown into an extremely successful business.

    Derwentside College celebrated the success of all graduating students and 21 students received special awards for academic excellence and endeavour on the night.

    Four of the students received Special Achievements awards sponsored by Sir Bob Murray personally; Natalie Dixon (Customer Service), Wayne Spears (Information Technology), Heather Louise Robinson (Business Administration) and Mandy Davison (Electrical Engineering).

    Mandy Davison said; “I was thrilled to have been nominated but to have won the ‘Sir Bob Murray Award for Special Achievement in Electrical Engineering’ and then to have him present it to me was absolutely fantastic. The proudest moment for me was knowing that my children were there to see this.”

    Principal Albert Croney said; “It was an honour for the College to have Sir Bob, a former student, with us for such a special evening, especially as this was the first time that the Awards had been held on our College campus.

    “Our Awards evening  is about celebrating success, the success of individuals in achieving their goals by progressing to higher education or securing employment, and the success of the college working with employers and their workforce to raise skill levels and improve productivity.

    “The college has enjoyed very high success rates again this year that place us in the top 10% of all colleges nationally for the majority of our further education provision.  In the last 12 months alone we have delivered 465 different learning aims to 9493 students, had 4518 apprentices in 29 different occupational areas and we have worked with 1127 different employers.”

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July 2013

  1. Willowburn-logo-whitebg

    Sir Bob’s support for Willow Burn Hospice building project

      Sir Bob has expressed his support towards a building project which will create a £5.7m state of the art building for a North East hospice charity. Willow Burn Hospice on Maiden Law Bank, Lanchester,…

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    Sir Bob has expressed his support towards a building project which will create a £5.7m state of the art building for a North East hospice charity.

    Willow Burn Hospice on Maiden Law Bank, Lanchester, Co Durham was established 24 years ago and has since been operating from a former isolation hospital ward which dates back to the 1950s.

    The current facilities are not in a good physical condition and no longer meet operational requirements on many levels. The increased demand for services has also proved to be a challenge, with little flexibility in the way that the building can be used.

    Phase one of the project began in July 2013 and is due to be completed by spring next year. Additional fundraising is required for phases two and three. The start of the project was marked by a ceremonial lifting of the first sod of turf by the longest serving member of the nursing the team.

    Bob commented on the project, saying; “I grew up Consett so it will always be a special place to me. I have visited the hospice several times and have seen the plans for the new hospice, which look amazing. The staff at Willowburn are really dedicated and do a fantastic job. They make such a difference to the lives of so many people and I’m delighted to support the hospice.”

     

    For more information about Willowburn Hospice visit http://www.willow-burn.co.uk/ or to make a donation http://www.justgiving.com/willowburnhospice

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January 2013

  1. Sir Bob Murray Kickz Pic 1 (4)

    Sir Bob chats to nebusiness and visits youth project in Derwentside

    Sir Bob met up with Peter Jackson to chat about old times and do a profile piece for neBusiness and The Journal when he was in the north east.   View Article Page 1 View…

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    Sir Bob met up with Peter Jackson to chat about old times and do a profile piece for neBusiness and The Journal when he was in the north east.

     

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    Later in the day he visited Derwentside to see at first-hand the impact of a youth project in Consett, Co. Durham.
    Sir Bob, who is the founder and Chair of Trustees for the Foundation of Light praised the work of the family learning and Kickz programme, which was launched in Consett and Stanley last year.

    The programme provides a range of sport related activities for 13 to 19-year-olds and has achieved impressive results in the region.
    It was expanded to Derwentside following a new partnership between Derwentside Homes and the Foundation of Light.
    The award-winning Kickz programme uses the power of football to engage with young people in local communities and aims is to reduce anti-social behaviour,
    teach youngsters valuable skills and increase their confidence.

    The Foundation has also rolled out its successful Family Learning programme in Derwentside, which offers first steps learning to parents and carers, as well as adult learning courses and qualifications.

    Since it was launched in April 2012, over 1,780 youngsters have participated in the Kickz evening, holiday and daytime sessions in schools across the District. Police have also reported that since May 2012, crime has reduced by 72% in the Consett town centre area.

    Over 40 local families have engaged in Family Learning courses in Derwentside since September 2012 and of those, 27 families have fully completed the courses.

    Sir Bob said: “It’s fantastic to see the positive impact that the Foundation is already having in the Derwentside area.”

    “One of the Foundation’s aims is to give people the opportunity to change their lives for the better and the support of organisations such as Derwentside Homes really make this possible by helping us into the heart of communities.”

    “I always believe that a huge amount of credit should go to those who take part in the programmes and are willing to give new things a go. It was a real pleasure meeting some of those people today and they are a real inspiration to all of us at the Foundation of Light.”

    Derwentside Homes’ chief executive Geraldine Wilcox said: “It was really generous of Sir Bob to come and visit the project and meet the youngsters and families that benefit from these activities. He is an ambassador for the North East and an inspiration to young people.

    “Since it was launched, the programme has grown from strength to strength and results demonstrate that through effective partnership working, we can make a difference to the lives of people who live in our communities.

    “Young people are the future so it important that we show our commitment by investing in services for them which will have a long lasting impact on a future generation.”

    Kickz sessions take place weekly at Derwentside College and The Chill In in Consett and Stanley Youth Centre and St. Stephen’s Church in Stanley.

    For more information about the Foundation of Light click here http://www.safc.com/foundation-of-light

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1961
  1. Bob in Consett

    An ambition to succeed

    Bob’s progress at school was hindered by a childhood accident and he left school with just one O’ Level. The baby boom in the immediate aftermath of the war meant that there were twice as…

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    Bob revisits Consett and the site of Consett steelworks

    Bob’s progress at school was hindered by a childhood accident and he left school with just one O’ Level. The baby boom in the immediate aftermath of the war meant that there were twice as many people looking for work in 1961 and there was no prospect of him joining the local steelworks at Consett where his father worked. They were difficult times and being out of work had a significant and lasting impact on his life.

    Initially he had nowhere to turn and was unemployed for a year. That experience changed Bob’s outlook on life forever and gave him the driving ambition to change his life and succeed.

    He started by enrolling for evening classes four nights a week at Consett Technical College to further his education.

    He recalls, “It was a hard time in my life and I knew I never wanted to be unemployed or feel like that again. The experience had a profound effect on my life. I missed out on my youth and between the ages of 15 and 25 when all my friends were out every night, I was in studying.”

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1946
  1. Sir Bob Murray 04 13370 final med

    Consett born and bred

    Sir Bob Murray was born in Consett, Co Durham in August 1946. He was the only child of a fourth generation Sunderland mining family. His father Sydney was from Houghton le Spring, Sunderland and worked…

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    Bob revisits his childhood home at Consett

    Sir Bob Murray was born in Consett, Co Durham in August 1946. He was the only child of a fourth generation Sunderland mining family. His father Sydney was from Houghton le Spring, Sunderland and worked in Silksworth Colliery from the age of 14 but moved to Consett to get a job above ground in the steel works. His mother Elsie, was also originally from Houghton le Spring.

    Bob attended Consett Junior School until the age of 11 and Annfield Plain Secondary Modern School in Stanley until he was 15. His school reports at Annfield hinted of some potential in maths and art but his progress was hindered due to a childhood accident and Bob left school with just one O’ Level in Maths to his name.

    “My education was cut short by a childhood accident. I think it was the loss of my own school days, which so inspires me to help others achieve their educational goals. It really upsets me when I hear stories about wasted school years – everyone has a right to the best education.”

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