A DEDICATED student has been rewarded for her efforts after overcoming health and logistics issues to build herself a bright future.
Isobel Taylor Lindop was recognised with the top award for travelling 60 miles a day by car, bus, train and on foot to study bricklaying at Darlington College despite having a disability.
Three years ago the 17 year-old developed a condition that left her living with involuntary movements in her arms and legs.
Despite the issue she travelled every day to Darlington from the village of West Tanfield, between Ripon and Bedale, a convoluted journey which took two hours each way.
After securing her Level 1 bricklaying qualification, she is now studying business and law and hopes one day to run her own shop providing affordable clothing for people who struggle to find the right fit.
“It could be someone who lives with dwarfism, or only has one arm,” she said. “Not everyone has the same size feet or length of leg for normal sizing and labels could also be in braille. I want to make clothing accessible to all and that also means through fair pricing.”
Darlington College principal Kate Roe told the awards ceremony audience of students, friends and families: “Isobel was a model student from the outset, overcoming a variety of health issues and a challenging journey to college.”
Also reaching the final four for the top accolade were plumber Stewart Ward, of Darlington, budding engineer Victoria Bennett, of Catterick Village, and nurse Makereta Manulevu, of Catterick Garrison.
A host of other students were also rewarded at the ceremony, hosted by journalist and author Peter Barron, for their dedication, commitment and achievements in a variety of curriculum areas including health and social care, sport, beauty therapy, accounting, business administration, art and design, fabrication and welding, public services, hairdressing and catering.
Ms Roe said: “I feel so proud to see our talented students develop and achieve such remarkable qualities, qualities which will be valued by universities and prospective employers.”
Chairman of Darlington College Board Pat Howarth added: “We work with thousands of students and these award winners really are our crème-de-la-crème, the best of the best.
“Every time I walk into college I am struck by the buzz in the air and the sheer variety of courses and age groups, from all over Darlington, South Durham and North Yorkshire, who use this great community facility.
“We are there to serve and to ensure people have the skills and opportunities which are valued so highly by employers.
“Thanks to our talented staff, who go about their work with incredible determination, and the efforts of our students, many of who also work and bring up families, we are the best FE college in the Tees Valley for overall student achievement and sixth in the country.”