Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form Year Two National Diploma Public Services students have attended a military style Mess Dinner to celebrate the year’s achievements.

The College’s Uniformed Public Services programme is recognised as being a highly successful route into employment in the services, or to university and training. During the course, students learn about all aspects of life in the services, including the Armed Forces and the Police, Ambulance and Fire Services. A job in any of these sectors is high pressured and physically demanding and therefore, they require people who are determined, hardworking and dedicated.  Students take part in theory lessons encompassing command and control, criminal justice, government and politics and land navigation and also a number of physical activities ranging from Ghyll climbing and orienteering, to circuit training and residential trips with the Army and Navy. Each year, students progress into the Services and onto degree courses such as Police and Criminal Investigation.

The Mess dinner was the culmination of two years intensive study and training and both students and staff enjoyed a sumptuous meal in the College’s stylish restaurant Farringtons. All guests met for a Bucks Fizz reception and had professional photos taken.

The format for the evening was a military type mess dinner, with the emphasis on etiquette and politeness. Acting as Chair of Function was Curriculum Leader Neil Morville, who ensured the process went in order as well as saying a few words of thanks to guests. Also in attendance was College Principal Amanda Melton and Special Guest, Group Manager Jerry Cragg, a representative from the Fire Service. Mr Cragg joined the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service in 1989, transferring to Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service (LFRS) in 2009.  Initially as the Group Manager in charge of Pennine Area with responsibility for the Districts of Pendle, Rossendale and Burnley, he recently transferred into the role of Service Training Manager based at the LFRS International Training Centre in Chorley. Mr Cragg was looked after at the meal by student Zak Boardman who is going to study Fire and Rescue at the University of Wolverhampton, with a view to joining the Fire Service after that.

Chairman of the Event and Curriculum Leader for Public Services, Neil Morville said, “This was our fourth mess dinner, which is a close recreation of a formal military style dinner. It provides an excellent example of the kind of discipline required of those working in the Forces and is also a great opportunity for us to celebrate the students’ successes through the previous year. We are immensely proud of our students’ hard work and determination to succeed and I am sure that these young people, who are a credit to the College, have a very bright future ahead of them. I’m keen to thank Mr Cragg for attending the mess dinner and his very inspiring and motivating speech to the students after the meal.”