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Eastleigh careers advisor excels at Hampshire Education Awards

Eastleigh College’s Trudy McKenzie is the only careers advisor in Hampshire to have been recognised for her excellence and achievements at the third annual Hampshire Education Awards.

The awards are run by Hampshire County Council to recognise and celebrate the contributions of staff and volunteers which ultimately have a discernible impact on learners across Hampshire’s education system. Trudy, who has worked at Eastleigh College for seven years, was announced the winner of the ‘Futures Award’ at a virtual ceremony.

The judges determined that Trudy was the only person from all the nominees to be shortlisted for the Futures Award, which is testament to the impact she consistently makes on young people’s future career progression through careers information and guidance, providing inspirational activities, work experience, enterprise projects and employer links.

Darren Coventry, Eastleigh College’s Vice Principal Commercial & Customer Service, said: “We’re delighted that Trudy has picked up this award, which she wholeheartedly deserves.

“The role of careers advisor is so much more than just providing careers advice. Trudy’s commitment and dedication sees her also getting involved in running a wide range of events and workshops, as well as spending dedicated time during one-to-ones with learners, providing truly personalised support as they prepare themselves for their next steps.

“This could be prep for job interviews, completing a UCAS application for university or researching an apprenticeship. Trudy’s links with other colleges and universities ensures her guidance is truly impartial and she always goes the extra mile for our learners.”

Trudy, who works with an experienced team including work experience advisors and a SUN (Southern University Network) coordinator, added: “I’m thrilled to have won the award, but it’s really down to a team effort.

“As an FE college that really focuses on industry standards and preparation for work, our learners are already motivated, and it’s a pleasure to support them as they start to fulfil their career aspirations.”

The Hampshire Education Awards recognises outstanding contributions from all phases of education including early years, primary, secondary, sixth form and colleges. The judges had the hard task of choosing just 35 winners from all the nominations.

Councillor Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “This has been a truly challenging year for our exceptionally hard-working teachers, support staff and volunteers. They have gone above and beyond to keep our schools and colleges going, in very testing and trying circumstances. These awards have showcased the fantastic dedication and talent across Hampshire’s family of schools and colleges.

The judges’ feedback included: “Trudy is a careers advisor who is dedicated to improving individual life chances and outcomes. She is described by the college as a passionate advocate for learners consistently putting their needs first and is especially committed to supporting students who have additional needs. Her work in sourcing work placements for students with additional needs has been pivotal in the development of the college’s SEND curriculum.”

Roz continued: “This is a chance to say a very special thank you to all the award recipients who, along with their colleagues, have made a real difference, not only in helping grow our pupils, but in adapting, overcoming and coping with the additional pressures that Covid-19 has brought about.”