Cambridgeshire student reaches finals of the AoC Student of the Year Awards

October 6, 2021

Three years after sustaining a catastrophic brain injury, Construction student Haydn Garrod is one of six young people in the UK to have reached the finals in the Association of Colleges Student of the Year Awards. The winner will be announced Spring 2022.

In 2018, at the age of 15, Haydn was involved in a collision with a motor vehicle while riding his bike. The incident resulted in Haydn suffering a catastrophic brain injury that required emergency surgery and he has spent the last three years recovering. After a long period of rehabilitation, and having missed the opportunity to sit his GCSE’s, Haydn returned to education at Cambridge Regional College in 2020 on the entry level Construction course. Haydn has since returned to CRC to complete his Level 1 Carpentry and dreams of taking on a Carpentry apprenticeship.

Haydn said: “The thing I enjoy about Carpentry is how hands-on and technical it is. It gets me thinking. I really enjoy being in the workshops and like to head there after lessons to gain as much experience as I can.”

The last three years have been very the challenging for Haydn. In spite of this, Haydn has made significant progress in his studies that resulted in him being awarded Learner of the Year for his course in the CRC Festival of Achievement.

Head of Department for Construction and Motor Vehicle, Paul Lacey commented: “This is a well-deserved award, and a fantastic achievement.”

Deputy Head of Department, Chris Styles added: “Haydn has had a fantastic year within the Construction department. He is hardworking and is always pushing himself to achieve the best outcomes.”

Earlier this year, Haydn was nominated for the Association of Colleges Young Student of the Year Award by the CRC staff team that have supported him. Following a shortlisting round in September, Haydn received the exciting news that he is one of six students to have reached the final from entries submitted by colleges around the UK.

Haydn added: “Being shortlisted for this award feels good. When I first sustained my injuries, I thought to myself ‘That’s it, what am I going to do now?’, but I feel excited for the future. I can now see a way forward.”

Outside of his education, Haydn has harnessed his experience to bring about change for others by taking on fundraising missions for both The Children’s Trust and the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Haydn has also launched a petition to make cycle helmets mandatory for under 16’s. Haydn’s charity work and campaigning resulted in him being nominated and subsequently shortlisted in the Cambridgeshire Live Young Heroes 2021.

Haydn concluded: “If you are thinking of coming to CRC, or even if you are already enrolled, don’t waste what you dream of becoming. With hard work, determination, and a positive mindset we can all achieve anything we want to.”

Read more about Haydn’s campaign for change,