Spalding student wins top prize at Peterborough Regional College's Excellence in Skills Awards
An aspiring chef from Spalding praised for "going above and beyond what is expected of him" has won his college's most prestigious award.
Tom Hannam (19) started "crying with happiness" when he was named winner of the McIntyre Cup at Peterborough Regional College's (PRC) Excellence in Skills Awards.
Presented to the person with the most outstanding achievement in their field across a wide range of subjects, Tom was chosen from about 4,500 students for his efforts while studying English, Maths, Hospitality and Catering at the college.
Tom, now a chef at The Tulip Queen pub/restaurant in Spalding, said: "I had been nominated for two awards, Outstanding Contribution in Hospitality and Catering (my main course) and Outstanding Contribution in English and Maths.
"I didn’t win either of these awards, however, the final award of the night was the McIntyre Cup which I was absolutely over the moon about when my name was called out as the winner of this award.
"It was a fantastic moment and, at the time I was speechless, shocked, proud and crying with happiness.
"I am so proud to have won the McIntyre Cup because I've loved every minute of my time at college and I didn’t want to leave."
Tom was joined by his family as hundreds of guests were invited to Peterborough Cathedral for the awards ceremony which was a showcase for the talents of the college's hospitality and catering, music, media and journalism students who all took part in the event.
The McIntyre Cup itself is named after the college's longest-serving principal John McIntyre who led PRC for 25 years.
"I am so overwhelmed with the award I got because, over the last 3 years, I've learned a lot of skills which have boosted my confidence," Tom said.
"I have done work experience in London, including at Epsom Downs during horse racing's Derby Day.
"All the tutors I had at college were so kind and helpful which is why I thoroughly enjoyed the awards ceremony at the cathedral.
"When I got to there, with my mum, sister and grandad, I felt so proud of myself and of all the other award winners, especially those from the hospitality and catering department.
"Then I remember when my name was announced as the winner of the Mclntrye Cup, all I heard was screaming before college principal Rachel Nicholls handed me the cup."
"I'm really proud of my achievement."
A PRC spokesman said: "Tom is hard-working, diligent and determined, constantly demonstrating his commitment by going above and beyond what is expected of him.
"He is not afraid to ask for help in order to develop his work, volunteering his time to support other Levels 1 and 2 learned in advancing their practical skills.
"Tom now looks forward to his future progression, with the aim of becoming a great success in the hospitality and catering industry."
Sarah Cooke, PRC's marketing and student recruitment manager, said: "Each year the awards evening allows us the opportunity to give recognition to our students for their hard work and effort during the past academic year.
"We are immensely proud of what they all achieve and their awards are fully deserved."