Student Spotlight

We're passionate about success.

At Writtle University College, every achievement - big and small - is a cause for celebration.

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Our students' hard work benefits their personal development, WUC and those around them. Many of our students achieve success beyond their studies and take their first strides into the workplace by establishing professional networks and entrepreneurial initiatives. Members of our 'Writtle Family' transform lives by supporting others in the community.

Whatever you achieve during your time with WUC, we're here to support you every step of the way!

Writtle University College


Transforming lives by helping or representing others in the community

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Toby Alkhersan is a dedicated student who works hard to overcome challenges. He shows great perseverance both in his studies and in community activities. With a group of friends, he planned and carried out the planting of hundreds of trees in his own hometown. This exciting project added new life to an area that was in need of regeneration. He works hard to engage with his degree course is deeply committed to issues relating to landscapes, the environment and the communities therein.


Nate Doble has been serving as a Special Constable with Essex Police while also completing a final year at university and working part time. Volunteering with the police is a serious commitment and comes with all the powers and responsibilities similar to those of a full time officer. Nate deserves recognition for the hard work undertaken while balancing these serious commitments.


Kerstin Endres-Tilley led an innovative fundraiser for the local Mencap gardening group. She and a team of fellow students reclaimed, rejuvenated and decorated Christmas trees that were not being used by WUC. The trees were sold in a successful pre-Christmas plant sale that raised hundreds of pounds for charity. All students involved with the project deserve recognition but Kirsten was the driving force and is always the first to volunteer or embrace an idea related to the study of horticulture.


Jennie Harwood has maintained her support of Farleigh Hospice in Chelmsford throughout her studies at WUC. She has used her floristry skills to bring pleasure, new interests, and skills to those who stay, work, or visit the centre, as well as organising fund-raising events for the Hospice. Jennie has also run workshops for the staff at Farleigh, enabling them to come together outside of work hours and focus on a recreational experience together. This connection with Farleigh has inspired Jennie to explore the subject of the wellbeing benefits of flowers and plants in her third year final major research project.


Lola Miller has shown great commitment to her course. She enthusiastically volunteered to teach animal welfare to students at a local primary school and worked with a fellow student to devise lessons for Year Six pupils. Lola cooperated with the teachers at Great Leighs Primary School to deliver the Animals and Environment section of their curriculum. She has demonstrated an ability to disseminate knowledge and shown her willingness to support to the community.


Kira Jarvis shows amazing community spirit. She plays an active role in the Cub Scout movement as an Assistant Leader and has brought her cub pack to WUC to experience the animals on-site. Kira completed the DofE Gold and Queens Scout Award, in addition to a placement at UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve in South Africa and fundraising for a range of charities including The Royal British Legion. She volunteered as a care assistant for the charity Revitalise, at Essex Wildlife Trust as a conservationist and for a local RSPCA clinic. At WUC, she has represented Animal Management and Animal Science, as well as promoting these courses on Open Days and at other events. During lockdown, Kira was a key worker at a local supermarket and shopped for vulnerable neighbours to ensure they remained safe.


Chloe Reid shows outstanding community spirit. She has worked as a first aider with St. John's Ambulance and, in 2019, donated more than 1000 hours to the charity over the course of ten months. Chloe is also a Youth Leader at the Chelmsford Youth Unit where she teaches weekly sessions ranging from first aid, to cookery, animal welfare and others, in addition to attending residential trips, such as annual youth camps. Chloe is a member of the safeguarding team for SJA and, during the pandemic, has worked with the domestic team at Broomfield Hospital, to help minimise the risk of infection.


Jessica Roots shows impressive commitment to animal welfare. She has become a Home Visitor Volunteer for the RSPCA and is also in the process of becoming a volunteer kennel worker at Danaher RSPCA, to gain a wider prospective of the rehoming process. Jessica has been a course representative for Animal Science and acted as an Animal Welfare Officer at New Hall Catholic School. She recently secured a job at Bushmoor Kennels & Cattery whilst continuing with her zoo placement.


Anna Ritchie has worked hard to engender a community spirit amongst the university's horticulture students. She arranged opportunities for final year students to meet with first years and created course wide opportunities for students from all year groups to socialise together in informal surroundings.


Darren Veitch has supported WUC's marketing team and taken part in multiple activities during his time at university, including the delivery of lessons on animal welfare to pupils at Great Leighs Primary School and promotion of the Dogs Trust in Basildon. He previously volunteered at South Essex Wildlife Hospital and EWT Hanningfield Reservoir and currently donates his time as a Volunteer Warden at EWT Crowsheath Wood. He has also supported Essex Badger Protection and Essex Bat Group as well as working as a Subcontractor at Southern Ecological Solutions


Harry Woodall is modest, polite and reliable. Since his first year, he has demonstrated consistent support for a fellow student and has worked to increase accessibility on campus. Harry offered a classmate his assistance throughout a difficult time, organised collections and enhanced the communication link between students and staff.


Elliot Wollen in addition to being a staunch supporter of WUC's academic community, Elliot Wollen is the founder of 'Herts & Essex Community Farm', a community area where people can come together to grow organic food, for use by volunteers, homeless support organisations and local people. The farm has 300 volunteers per year. While shielding through the pandemic, Elliot remotely coordinated the socially distanced running of the farm, and worked with Harlow Council to provide households with free vegetable growing kits. Elliot and team are also the creators of 'Harlow Soup', an organisation that has provided nearly £7,000 of seed funding to new community projects in Harlow.


Alexander Durnford, Ellen Underwood and Ben White decided, as part of their Community Horticulture module, to undertake work with a group of pupils from Writtle Junior School. During an initial meeting with the children and throughout a practical workshop within the University's glasshouses, the WUC students displayed responsibility and organisational skills. Plans for additional workshops had to be abandoned due to the impact of COVID-19, but the students potted the plants up, in the hope that they would be useable if the school reopened after Easter.

Achieving personal success outside your studies

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Megan Curtis is extremely dedicated to both her studies and her role within the FE Equine Performance Team. She retained her position on the team, while progressing within WUC from a College to a University course. In August 2019, Megan competed in the British Dressage My Quest National league and qualified for regionals where she won her category, securing a place at the national finals in October 2019. Megan then went on to secure a top ten placing in her national class, finishing an impressive seventh.


William Charity is a dedicated member of WUC's Students' Union. He has worked hard to make sure Further Education students' voices are heard and has encouraged them to become more aware of the Students' Union and the support it can provide. William has attended all meetings regarding FE and suggested innovative ways to improve the student experience.


Tyler Dunning has worked tremendously hard to coach and manage the WUC Men's Rugby Club this year, ensuring that the players had regular training together and fulfilling the competitive season. Tyler displayed dedication and determination, and benefitted from the support of Captain Kyle Combrink, who regularly went above and beyond his duties. Following the outbreak of Covid-19, Tyler also gave his time to assist prospective students during Virtual Open Days.


Gráinne Hanley has gone above and beyond her course requirements. She spent two years balancing ongoing work at the London Velodrome with her university course. Gráinne worked closely with WUC's Equine Academy members, to offer support, guidance and fitness training. She has also been the assistant race director for the OnForm/Writtle UC Open Road Race for the past two years and was recently made Team Welfare Officer for the UCI Women's Continental team.


Kelly Flude has worked hard as the Students' Union President over the last year, and served mas an effective member of the board of governors. Kelly has engaged with the students to represent them on a number of issues, including the move to the new catering provider, Aramark. She has been committed to the wellbeing of WUC students during her time as President.


Esme Hills is an outstanding member of the Students' Union and a committed Campus Warden. A highly supportive team player, Esme comes into the office with a positive attitude and works to make WUC a better place for everyone. She has gone above and beyond her role to support our residential and international students this year. Even when not "on duty", Esme is always there to help. She was instrumental in implementing and promoting Chat With Charlie services to WUC students and, following the outbreak of Covid-19, worked to offer socially distanced support to campus residents.


Audrey Williams has been her course's Student Representative for BA Professional Floristry and Floral Design for all three years of her time at WUC. Audrey has taken her duties seriously and carried them out with diligence and positivity. She has given a large amount of her time to other students in the group; whether this has been carrying out her student rep duties, seeking their opinions or being a source of encouragement and support. She has shown commitment and dedication to the course as well as a willingness to help others.


Laura Manevska demonstrated an impressive level of commitment and engagement within IT workshops. Laura not only has the highest level of attendance of any student at WUC, she also works tirelessly to gain new skills. Laura displays her strong understanding of important concepts by applying her new knowledge and understanding in her studies and is always willing to assist other students.


Sophie Dell has acted as an exemplary Year 3 representative for the Animal Management and Animal Science programmes. She has been proactive in this role and instigated excellent communication between students and academic staff. Sophie has been representing the group fairly, canvassing opinions and working hard to improve the course. Her tutors have been impressed by her commitment.


Rude Morris has shown himself to be exceptionally hard working, both as a student and during his extracurricular activities. Rude is a dedicated member of WUC's Equine Academy and has progressed to Captain the BUCS Equestrian team. In his remaining free time, he not only works for a dressage rider but also supports WUC's yard whenever help is needed.


Victoria Hurst-Frost has put her heart and soul into WUC's successful women's rugby team. Despite having never played ruby prior to university, Victoria's hard work, talent and passion for the sport, led to her current, well-deserved position as team captain.


Janne Haraldseth served as Vice-President of WUC's Equine Society in her second year, then as President in her third year. She has offered assistance at lecture evenings and represented the Society during Open Days. Janne arranged riding lessons and extra ground work sessions for Society members, as well as a trip to Redwings Horse Sanctuary. She balances these duties with work at WUC's yard and Garden Room and supports prospective students in her role as a Student Ambassador.


Ellen Wright, Emily Stockle, Emily Humphris, Amy Hanna, Keri Murrell, Ellie-May Bowman and Lauren Tanner joined the peer mentor group formed in Semester 1 2019. They were a great asset to the Flying Start program, providing a personal and genuine experience for new students. They engaged with students either on a 1:1 basis or by promoting the Student Success Team. They demonstrated a positive attitude towards their role and were willing to step outside their comfort zone. They proved to be committed, reliable and unafraid to take on new tasks. The feedback helping to shape the design of the next iteration of Flying Start.

Founding an entrepreneurial venture or establishing innovative careers connections

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Gemma Ali has been an active member of the Muslim community in promoting animal welfare. As part of her dissertation, she carried out a major survey to investigate UK Halal consumers' knowledge in the field of modern farming practice and their opinions on whether these are compliant with the teachings of Tayyib and animal welfare within the Quran and Hadith. Gemma represented her association and this community work at the Oxford Farming Conference (OFC) and was identified as an Emerging Leader by the OFC Secretariat.


Abigail Allen has shown great strength, courage and perseverance to overcome a life threatening accident and complete her studies in Equine Behavioural Science. She successfully launched a business, Mind In Motion Equestrian, and has used a blog and social media to share academic and practical behavioural advice to an evergrowing following, engaging the wider equine community in improved behavioural management of horses.


Eloise Chissick has been volunteering at Wingham Wildlife Park's primate section for two years. She has generously devoted her free time to clean enclosures and equipment, prepare feeds and enrichment activities and oversee the walkthrough lemur enclosure to make sure the public are abiding to the rules. In addition, Eloise has carried out general duties around the park. Eloise has shown she's able to put knowledge gained in her academic studies into practice while undertaking valuable work experience and making connections within the sector.


James Cooper is an excellent ambassador for WUC. He supported the exchange programme with Holland and Finland, representing WUC to students from these HEIs. He also made excellent use of WUC's employability and careers service. By working hard and utilising the resources available to him, he quickly learnt new ways to position and promote himself to future employers, including updating his CV and transforming his LinkedIn profile. He made good use of technology to take advantage of careers advice and mentoring remotely and secured a position on a very prestigious graduate scheme.


Nathan Wapling performed so well during his placement at Peregrine Livefoods, he received an offer of employment. Peregrine also offered to fund his veterinary studies, with the intention of making animal health services an integral new aspect of the business. Nathan represented both WUC and Peregrine incredibly professionally at a recent jobs fair and, by acting as a liaison between the two organisations, helped a second year student to secure a placement at Peregrine.


Orsolya Losonci has shown impressive dedication to her chosen sector. She previously worked as a groom for Team Hayler and volunteered at a Dharma LÂmenhely, a Hungarian shelter for rescue horses. Last summer Orsolya applied the skills learnt in WUC lectures while working as a translator and writer at an Equine Nutrition company in Hungary. She also volunteered to assist in exercising a thoroughbred gelding. Orsolya has taken advantage of opportunities at WUC, viewing riding lessons and attending Nic Barker's Barefoot Clinic, in addition to attending an impressive range of external events and CPD sessions. She is currently increasing her knowledge of horses by working as a translator for Equitopia.


Susan Day, Alfie Moore, Abigail Stallard and Louise Wells. The final year students involved in 2020's Design Degree Show have displayed hard work and resilience over the course of the year. They seamlessly adapted to safety measures necessitated by the pandemic and found ways to produce work without access to WUC's extensive onsite facilities. They have utilised 'spaces' at home and adapted their practice. They quickly learned to use and chair meetings on Microsoft Teams and found novel ways of sharing their practice. Their course team has been proud of the way they overcame hurdles in order to create a professional website and organise and promote an excellent Virtual Degree Show.


Heidi Appleyard, Jennie Harwood, Jiyoon Paek, Audrey Williams and Lorraine Yeboah have shown astounding dedication and team spirit while supporting fellow BA Professional Floristry students throughout their three-year course. Examples include raising money for a then third-year student's degree design show expenses and devising and running a hugely popular Mother's Day Pop-Up Plant Shop in 2019. Due to this success, they were able to meet the costs of expenses for last year's BA Professional Floristry third year show and could cover the costs of an additional trip; to a flower farmer and RHS Wisley.


Shelbie Adams and Lucy Bull have successfully carried out important industry facing projects. Their work related to good nutrition for piglets and involved a study at the WUC Sturgeons Farm Pig Unit. Both students worked closely with local pig producers and were active members of the Essex Pig Discussion Group managed by AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board). Shelbie and Lucy presented their ideas at a meeting and benefitted from excellent constructive feedback from producers.


Elliot Wollen
Student of the year 2020

The student whose Spotlight has been chosen by our Senior Leadership Team as our Student of the Year inspiration for 2020 goes to Elliot Wollen.

Congratulations goes to Elliot for his outstanding contribution in the category of Community Excellence for transforming lives by helping or representing others in the community.

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Elliot Wollen
Student of the year 2020

The student whose Spotlight has been chosen by our Senior Leadership Team as our Student of the Year inspiration for 2020 goes to Elliot Wollen.

Congratulations goes to Elliot for his outstanding contribution in the category of Community Excellence for transforming lives by helping or representing others in the community.