A SWINDON College student who spent her Christmas at a dementia care home received a top award for her kindness.

Health and social care student Charlotte Brinkley won the Contribute to Society award at the college’s Further Education Awards for visiting the care home residents with presents on Christmas Day while working there on a placement.

Charlotte said: “I went in a couple of weeks before Christmas and some of them said they didn’t have any family members. I thought if they don’t have any family members then I could go in and celebrate it with them in the morning.

“I went around at 8am to see some of the residents I had brought presents for, I opened presents with them, and spoke about what they did when they were children and what they were like when they had children.

“The smile on their faces was like a little kid at Christmas all over again. It was sweet and I really enjoyed it. I would definitely do it again. I just like helping people because I think they deserve the same as everyone else.”

Charlotte also brought in 150 cupcakes for the dementia care home’s staff and residents on her birthday.

Her teacher Louise said: “Every day was a challenge personally and professionally for Charlotte but not once did she give up. Charlotte attended placement and went above and beyond. Charlotte always puts others before the needs of her own and is always going the extra mile.”

The Swindon Advertiser sponsored the award, which was one of 18 given out to students to celebrate their outstanding achievements in and out of the classroom.

In previous years, the Further Education awards were named after courses but this year the college reshaped them in an effort to recognise students that have really stood out in other areas.

These included young people who had overcome much adversity, made an outstanding contribution to society or demonstrated exceptional employability skills.

Their staff and peers said they were ‘really taken aback by the heart warming and remarkable stories that emerged’.

Guests at the awards do received canapes served by the catering students and the awards we spilt into three categories - Star Awards, Memorial Recognition and Superstar Awards.

In the Star awards, Jade Henderson won Most Inspirational Student sponsored by Intel, Aaron Dinsdale won Outstanding Contribution to STEM sponsored by Philip Harris, Chelsea Jefferies won Outstanding Commitment to Professional Development sponsored by Morris Owen, Bethany Price won Outstanding Contribution in Respective Industry sponsored by Ellions, Katie Peaple won Tradesperson of the Year sponsored by Hills, George Woodward-May won Classmate of the Year sponsored by Aramark and Ellisons, and Olivia Edwards won Student Leadership Award sponsored by Intel.

In Memorial Recognition awards, Harry Brewer-Fifeld won the Allan Mellar Award sponsored by Mr and Mrs Mellar, and Ezekiel Okunlola won the Reg Arman Award sponsored by Jane Thomas.

Finally, in the Superstar awards, Nicola Baker won the Overcoming Adversity Award sponsored by Intel, Kathryn Hawkins won the Employability Award sponsored by Swindon Bus Company, Adele Patrick and Guodong Xu won the Unsung Hero Awards sponsored by Russums and Acorn Press, Adelle Cook won Innovative Student of the Year sponsored by Wasdell Packaging, and Tia Stepp won the Excellence Award sponsored by Ellions.