Solicitors, company directors and writers were among an array of former students in attendance at Nelson and Colne College’s first alumni event.

The celebration took place at the College’s restaurant Farringtons on Thursday and included a drinks reception and two course meal prepared by some of NCC’s Catering students.

The event was designed to provide a networking opportunity, celebrate success and share what alumni can do to help inspire NCC’s current students. This ranges from mentoring a student, to providing work experience, to offering an industry visit.

Principal Amanda Melton said: “I am delighted at how successful NCC’s first alumni event has been and to hear about the exciting career paths our former students have taken following their time at College.

“We are committed to giving each of our students as many opportunities as possible to prepare them for their future career, and I am pleased to hear how our alumni are willing to share their expertise and experience to help and inspire them on their next journey.”

Around 50 alumni, NCC staff and students attended the evening, which also included engaging talks from past students John Spencer, who has worked on NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, and Nicky Browne, an author who has had work published by Bloomsbury – the same publishers of Harry Potter!

John, a senior scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, also attended NCC the following morning to deliver talks to secondary school and College students.

The 58-year-old, whose speech was aptly called ‘From Pendle to Pluto’, said: “Most of the Maths and Physics I use is what I learnt in this building or at Colne Grammar School. I am so grateful for the education I received here and am glad I could come back to give a talk at this event.”

Nicky, 54, from Richmond, reflected on how her tutors and her time at NCC have helped influence her career, adding: “My time at Nelson and Colne College has been the bedrock of my life – it was the most fantastic experience! The intellectual experience here was incredible!

“The staff were fantastically supportive, and gave me the confidence and belief to go forward. Thank you very much Nelson and Colne College!”

Another former student at the event, Naz Alam, 49, director of Starmount Ltd, said: “It is a great opportunity as an alumni to come back to Nelson and Colne College and it is nice to give something back. Well done to the Catering students – the meal was outstanding!

“NCC is officially one of the best Colleges in the country, and that is something that I have always thought.”

Throughout the evening guests used the #IamNCC hashtag to show their support for the new event, and current students also shared how it is really helpful to hear from professionals who have walked in their shoes.

Tim Jones, 17, from Padiham, who is studying Maths, Physics and Chemistry, said: “It has been really good to see where the ‘real people’ of NCC have ended up, and has made me think about my own future.”

Other ways former students can get involved in the NCC community include being a guest speaker at events, taking part in social and networking events and being an ambassador for the College. If you are a former student and would like to get in touch with NCC contact 01282 440371 or join the ‘Nelson and Colne College Alumni’ Facebook page.