Course leader Elspeth Robertson with Angela Louch

Praise has been heaped on a dedicated student with a professional approach to her work who was named as the University of the Highlands and Islands further education student of the year.

Angela Louch (43) from Stornoway completed a hairdressing Level 5 National Certificate at Lews Castle College UHI.

Angela was commended for being a positive ambassador for her course and her college. She helped to organise a range of events during her studies and was credited with presenting a professional image at every occasion she attended. She was also praised for her commitment in the face of challenging personal circumstances.

Angela’s lecturer and course leader, Elspeth Robertson, nominated her for the award. She explains: “Angela is a single mother to a pre-school daughter and has various health issues, but she always does what is asked of her and has never complained or taken additional time off. She has been in hospital on a few occasions but has come into college the next day, so she doesn’t disappoint clients who are booked in for appointments.

“Angela has undertaken all of her work conscientiously and she follows what she has been asked to do diligently. She received excellent feedback from her work placement and the salon rated her so highly she has been invited to attend trade fairs and industry workshops with them. She is a worthy candidate for the student of the year award.”

Angela was presented with her student of the year certificate and a cheque for £200 at the Lews Castle College UHI graduation ceremony in Stornoway on Friday 23 August. She also received Lews Castle College UHI’s volunteering excellence trophy, its Billy Macleod inspirational award and its most employable student of the year title, an award Angela has won for the last three years.

Now she has finished her National Certificate, Angela is working as a self-employed hairdresser at the salon where she completed her work experience.

She is also continuing to develop her skills by undertaking an additional unit at Lews Castle College UHI and by completing short courses on other treatments she can offer.

Speaking about her award, Angela said: “I was delighted to be named as further education student of the year. My time in college has been enjoyable and being on placement has helped to improve my confidence. Tutor support has helped me get to where I am today, and I am truly grateful to Elspeth for this and for her nomination. You are never too old to follow your dreams and I would encourage anyone thinking of becoming a hairdresser to come to Lews Castle College UHI.”

Dr Diane Rawlinson, the university’s Vice-Principal Further Education, said: “Angela exemplifies the well-rounded graduate that all employers seek, and the University of the Highlands and Islands is proud to certificate.

“She has made the most of her time with the university, undertaking study beyond the requirements of her course and making a commitment to the community through her voluntary work that is commendable.

“I’m delighted to add my congratulations to those of others and look forward to hearing more from Angela as her career develops.