Ascent Autism Specialist College hosts awards evening extravaganza

Ascent Autism Specialist College, based in Newton-le-Willows, recently held its annual Aspire Evening, bringing together students, staff, parents, and community partners to celebrate student achievements. 

The end-of-year celebration took place at the Mercure Hotel Haydock’s stunning marquee, where attendees enjoyed musical performances, an awards ceremony, a buffet, and a disco. 

Rachel Newman from the Open Awards joined the evening to congratulate Ascent student Courtney on completing her Access to HE (Higher Education) course, equivalent to three A-levels. Despite facing many anxieties and complexities surrounding her autism, Courtney worked hard to secure this fantastic achievement. 

The college places a huge emphasis on the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) programme led by Hannah Richards. Representatives from DofE North and Cllr Jeanie Bell, Merseyside Deputy Police Commissioner, attended the event and presented students with bronze and silver awards.

During a special announcement, Alan Pomfret from Newton-le-Willows Rotary Club presented student Courtney with the Young Achiever Award. Earlier this year, Ascent student, Yanick, was awarded the Rotary’s Young Citizen Peacemaker 2023. 

Staff at the college went on to present students with awards for creativity, support, dedication and more. 

Cllr Dave Banks, Cllr Jeanette Banks, Cllr Karl Collier, and Cllr Terry Maguire were also in attendance alongside several other community partners, including Stiklings Circus Performers. 

Julliet Doherty, head of adult services at Ascent Autism Specialist College, said: “Our Aspire Evening is an opportunity for us to shine a spotlight on all the fantastic achievements of our students throughout the year. 

“We are so proud of every one of our students and what they have achieved. Seeing them break down barriers makes our job worthwhile. 

“Also, a massive thank you to all our staff, parents, and community partners, without your ongoing support, we wouldn’t be able to provide our students with the best possible experiences and opportunities.”

Ascent Autism Specialist College is part of the Remarkable Charity. The charity has several provisions that support autistic individuals, including Wargrave House School and Sundial Therapy Services. 

Robin Bush, CEO of Remarkable Autism Charity, said: “Our mission at Remarkable is to foster a world where autistic individuals are empowered to live happy and fulfilled lives. Through each of our initiatives, we provide flexible, holistic and innovative approaches to learning that place individual wellbeing at the centre. 

“We are exceptionally proud of all our students and their achievements. The recognition is well-deserved, and I have no doubt they will continue to strive for more and achieve great things.”

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