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Notable alumni


Here are a just few more of our students that left the College to embark upon successful careers in their chosen industry.

Helen Richardson-Walsh MBE - England Hockey Player

England hockey player Helen Richardson-Walsh was a sport student at the College in 1999/2000. She made her England debut in 1999 and has been a member of England and GB squads at World Cups, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games amassing over 100 caps for her country. She won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and topped it with a Gold medal as part of the successful GB Olympic squad in 2016! In 2017 she was awarded an MBE for Services to Hockey.

Thomas Birch - ex Marine and AoC Student of the Year 2009

Thomas Birch beat all odds of surviving an accident during his time as a Marine in Afghanistan. He suffered a severe head injury in an accident in his jeep in November 2006 and his chance of survival was touch and go. Despite the seriousness of his injuries and the fact that he has no memory of his time in Afghanistan, Thomas learned to walk and talk again. Thomas enrolled at South Nottingham College in 2008 and completed level 2 and 3 Personal Trainer courses. In 2009 he was named the Association of College’s (AoC) ‘Student of the Year’. Earlier in the year he also picked up an national Adult Learner of the Year award.

Leigh Ferron - East Midlands Learner of the Year 2009

After completing several part-time College courses over several years, Leigh was nominated for a VQ (Vocational Qualification) award in 2009 and duly won the East Midlands Learner of the Year category. Earlier this year he also won gold in the Midlands Regional Final of the UK Skills competition in Reflexology.

Eddie Turvey - BBC Radio Nottingham News Director

Eddie is currently directing news at BBC Radio Nottingham. He studied on a BTEC National Diploma in Media course at the College from 2004-06. He then progressed to join the BBC’s “Beat” music show. He is a regular visitor to our end of year media and art shows.

Rob Smith - Radio Presenter

After studying a BTEC National Diploma in Media at the College between 1991-1993, Rob went on to be a radio presenter at stations such as Trent FM (now Capital FM) and even spent 3 years co-presenting a show which was broadcast across 30 UK radio stations. He ended up at Heart Radio in Bournemouth and now runs a video production company using the skills and techniques he learnt at the Charnwood Centre.

Jenny Gunn MBE - England Women's Cricketer

Jenny was a student on the BTEC National Diploma Sport & Exercise Science course from 2003-5. A talented sportswoman, she soon made her mark in local cricket before gaining an international call-up. 

Now a regular member of the England squad, in 2009 Jenny helped the England Women’s Cricket team win the World Cup. 

Jenny was awarded an MBE for Services to Cricket in 2014.

In July 2017, Jenny was part of the England team to the win the Women’s World Cup again beating India in the final.

Ben Jamie - Professional Artist / Photographer

Ben is a practising artist/photographer based in London and studied an Art & Design course at our Charnwood Centre in 1998-99. Ben’s work was prominently featured in the 2006 BP Portrait awards when an image of his brother, Matthew, was chosen for the main show publicity and was seen across London.

Debbie Ball - AoC Student of the Year 2007

Debbie is a former student at the College, she now teaches here and runs a mobile hairdressing business. Debbie shot to fame in November 2007 when she was named the Association of College’s (AOC) “Student of the Year”! She was presented her award by none other than Sir Bob Geldof…

Alison Binks and Sarah Doherty

Two former creative studies students enjoyed knitting so much they opened their own shop dedicated to the ‘art’! Alison and Sarah joined a number of College courses including feltmaking, embroidery and upholstery before opening Beeston-based Yarn in 2006 stocking a whole range of knitting accessories!

Marcus Marshall - Footballer, Lincoln City

Marcus became the fourth player from the College’s Football Performance Programme (FPP) to sign for a professional when he agreed a one-year deal at Blackburn Rovers in March 2008. Striker Marcus was a student on our BFD Sport course when he was recommended to the Club by College tutor Pete Bell. A great loss to the College team but another success for the College’s FPP. Marcus currently plays for Lincoln City.

Pam O'Connor and Jonathan O'Dougherty - Professional Ice Dancers

Did you see the first two series of Dancing on Ice on ITV1? Pam O’Connor was David Seaman’s and later Neil Fox’s partner and is a former Sports and Exercise Science student. Her professional ice dancing partner, Jonathon O’Dougherty is also a former Sports and Exercise Science student. Pam and Jonathon were the 2002 British Ice Dance Champions and have won medals in many other competitions.

Wes Morgan - Footballer, Leicester Football Club

Wes was a business studies student and a member of the College’s Athlete Performance Programme for football. He was invited for trials at the club whilst at College and after playing 352 games for Forest in 10 years, he joined Leicester in January 2012. In May 2016 Wes captained the team to an amazing Premier League triumph!

Simon Francis - Footballer, Bournemouth Football Club

Simon was the first graduate from our football programme to sign professional when he joined Bradford City straight from College. He has played for a number of football league clubs before signing for AFC Bournemouth in 2012 where he has since played nearly 200 games.

Jake Sheridan - Footballer, Tamworth Football Club

Jake was on a BTEC National Diploma in Sport course and signed for local club Notts County in the Summer of 2005. The tricky winger was part of the first team squad for two seasons before teaming up with former County boss Gary Mills at Tamworth in 2007. He is currently playing for Alfreton Town.

Haydn Hollis - Footballer, Notts County

Notts defender Haydn was a Sport student at Central in 2008-2010.  He made his first-team debut in January 2012 and has since gone on to play over 100 games for the Magpies.

Are you a previous student with a story to tell? Would you like to share your story with us? If so, please contact us at