Ayrshire College students receive tools of the trade from John Mather Charitable Trust

Ayrshire College students receive tools of the trade from John Mather Charitable Trust

Over 100 former Ayrshire College students have been rewarded with a set of tools as they begin their chosen careers, thanks to the continued generosity of the John Mather Charitable Trust.

John Mather – who started working with Clydeport at the age of 16 and worked his way up to the position of chairman - set up the Trust in 1996 to help young people in the West of Scotland get started in the workplace. Since then, over a thousand students at Ayrshire College have benefitted from the Trust’s support.

This year, 127 Ayrshire College graduates from beauty therapy, complementary therapy, hairdressing, make-up artistry, hospitality, aeronautical engineering, engineering and renewables, horticulture, motor vehicle, and trades will all receive a set of tools worth £118.

In normal circumstances, Ayrshire College organises an event to celebrate the recipients of the John Mather Charitable Trust Awards. However, previous restrictions on indoor events ruled this option out for this year’s group.

Instead, students were invited back to college to receive their toolkits. It is hoped that 2023 will see the return of the John Mather Charitable Trust Awards.

Among those who received tools this year were NC Bakery’s Ashley O’Rourke, HND Biomedical Science’s Leah Smith, and Darren Thomson, who studied City & Guilds Diploma in Bench Joinery last year.

Ashley, 40 from Kilmarnock, came to Ayrshire College to learn skills that would help her start up a cake baking business, Mrs O'ccasions. Ashley makes birthday cakes and has started moving into the wedding industry. She now has plans to expand her business and increase her profile as a wedding cake maker.

Leah, 24 from Kilwinning, has started working as a Technical Lab Assistant for Mitie, based in Irvine. Leah also studies at university, and credits her time at Ayrshire College with helping her learn the jargon used in a science lab, and to understand the importance of risk assessments and health and safety in the workplace.

Darren, 28 from Ayr, is now an apprentice joiner with Cowan and Davidson. His apprenticeship sees him return to Ayrshire College to study a City & Guilds Diploma in Site Carpentry and PDA Carpentry & Joinery at SCQF Level 6.        

Carol Turnbull, Principal at Ayrshire College, said: “I’d like to say a big thank you to the trustees of the John Mather Charitable Trust for their continued support, which is always greatly appreciated by our students and everyone at Ayrshire College. Receiving these tools at the start of their careers is a welcome bonus for all of our students' hard work at college.”

12 May 2022

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