Alan and Aidan at the Falkirk FVSA office
FVSA up for three NUS Awards
Forth Valley Student Association has been shortlisted for three awards at the upcoming National Union of Students (NUS Scotland) annual conference.
They have been nominated in the Student of the Year, Campaigns and College Student Association of the Year categories at the event which will take place on 15 March at the Dunblane Hilton Hotel.
Aidan Brewins (19) - an NC Sports and Fitness student studying at the Falkirk Campus - is the inspirational FVC student who is the subject of the Student of the Year nomination.
Despite having to cope with homelessness and his responsibilities as a carer for his sister and mother, Aidan manages to volunteer for at least 25 hours per month with the oxfam charity shop in Stirling, 1st Tillicoultry Boys Brigade as a Warrant Officer, and as a Coach with Cricket Scotland.
He has earned the FVSA Volunteer Gold Badge, the Queens Badge at the BBs and is working his way towards the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award.
Aidan, said: “It feels really good to have been nominated. I was not expecting to be put forward, but to be shortlisted is an amazing achievement. I have been homeless with my mum and sister since the summer with no internet access, so unable to complete revision tasks outside of college and still meet my deadlines.
“I have grown up with schools in England telling me I would be in prison by now, and that I would never get a job. I was also given no help with my autism until we moved to Scotland in 2012. Clackmannanshire Secondary Support School, which was the first school I attended upon moving here, helped so much by assisting and not pushing me way and this has continued thanks to the opportunities given to me by the Scottish Education System.
“I just have the outlook which I learned off my Grandad, which is whenever anything gets in my way, I just look at it as a hurdle. Once I’m over it, it will then make the next thing I focus on a little easier and also to not let anyone or anything stand in my way.”
Elena Semple, FVSA Activities and Volunteer coordinator said: “When considering Aidan for this award we were absolutely overwhelmed with the bravery determination, courage and positive spirit that he has shown.
“He has faced difficult circumstances such as homelessness and demanding responsibilities as a young carer for his mother and younger sister. Yet despite the adversity he has faced, his sheer determination has been awe-inspiring as he has been able to study full-time, volunteer with many third sector organisations and within the college as well.”
As well as being shortlisted for the FE College Student Association of the Year award, FVSA is also up for the Campaigns Award for the ‘Carers Can’ campaign, including the development of a Carers Charter, which was officially signed recently by FVC Principal Dr Ken Thomson.
Alan Buchan President of FVSA, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for three awards. All of the team at FVSA are inspired by Aidan’s positive attitude in the face of adversity, and his life experiences have had a massive influence on the work of FVSA. The Carers Can campaign and the Carers Charter are set to have an impact not only for this year, but for all future students with caring responsibilities at FVC.
“The fact that we are up for the overall best student association award is a great recognition and is a credit to the work of our officers, staff and students across the College. We are delighted to even have been shortlisted given the amount of great work Student Associations do within Colleges around the country.”