A leading local specialist college celebrated winning a top business award today which was endorsed by her late Majesty The Queen

Derwen College won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity 2022. To mark this fantastic achievement, the college received the trophy at an event attended by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner.

His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant Anna Turner presented the official Grant of Appointment and Crystal Trophy to College representatives on 28 September.

The presentation, held in the College’s newly refurbished 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 Lieutenant of Shropshire Mandy Thorn.

Guests were able to meet some of the students, volunteers and staff who learn and work in the College Marketplace businesses.

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.

Derwen College is one of 226 organisations nationally to be recognised with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise, of which four are from Shropshire.

The King’s Representative Lord-Lieutenant Anna Turner said:

“I am absolutely delighted to be celebrating the wonderful success of Derwen College in winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunities.

“Judges for these awards look into every detail of your nomination as they want to be absolutely certain they make a good selection. It makes me so pleased that we have four businesses in this county that have reached the required standards, and particularly one that is so inspirational in providing such a happy learning environment to so many young people.”

Derwen College Principal & CEO Meryl Green attended a Reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by HRH the Prince of Wales 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.

“We felt proud and privileged to welcome the Lord Lieutenant to the College to present us with a trophy, and to share in our celebrations.”

Picture credits: Graham Mitchell.