Our students and staff celebrated winning a top business award endorsed by Her Majesty the Queen, at a presentation attended by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire.
We won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity 2022. To mark this fantastic achievement, Derwen held a celebration event where they were presented with a trophy and official scroll by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner.
She also delivered a personal letter of congratulations from Derwen College patron Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Kent.
The presentation, held in the College’s The Orangery Restaurant, was hosted by Derwen College Chair of Governors Kathleen Kimber and Principal & CEO Meryl Green, and attended by Mayor of Oswestry, Jay Moore, the Chair of Selattyn and Gobowen Parish Council, Councillor Craig Emery and Deputy Lieutenants of Shropshire Mandy Thorn and Veronica Lillis.
Guests were able to meet some of the students, volunteers and staff who learn and work in the College’s Marketplace businesses.
Flying the flag for opportunity
The college was delighted to be flying the flag for promoting opportunity, and literally raised two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise flags for the occasion. The event was particularly poignant following the sad death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
Further education college, Derwen College, was established in 1927 by Dame Agnes Hunt, and provides education and vocational training for young people aged 16 to 25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The College operates several businesses at its on-site ‘Marketplace’. Students learn work skills in a garden centre, café, restaurant, charity shop and a small hotel developed in conjunction with Premier Inn. They are then supported to progress to external work placements where appropriate.
The College supports students and interns with SEND to achieve their aspirations. Derwen College is proud to achieve outcomes that far exceed the national average for people with SEND – including progression into paid employment, voluntary work, further training, increased independence and supported living.
The King’s Representative Lord-Lieutenant Anna Turner said:
“It’s such a pleasure to be part of this celebration today. When I heard that Derwen College had won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, my pride soared.
“This is a very high award for amazing businesses; a much sought-after award for high achievers. Derwen has been recognised for being exceptional at promoting opportunity.”
Globally recognised business award
Derwen was one of a very small number of organisations recognised in this category nationally. The QAE is a globally recognised business excellence award and probably the best-known accolade for businesses world wide.
Derwen College Principal & CEO Meryl Green attended a Reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by HRH the Prince of Wales (now His Majesty, King Charles) back in July, to mark the win.
Meryl Green said: “Derwen College is having an exceptional year for awards; for our educational and care provision, and for our business ‘Marketplace’. We are very proud to receive this distinguished award, and would like to thank all our staff, students, families, and the community who support our College, our Charity and our Marketplace. None of this happens without an amazing team, and we certainly have that at Derwen!”