Local furniture crafts student Jan Waterston has been awarded a Medal for Excellence from the City & Guilds Group in recognition of his exceptional talents. Jan, 27, from Birmingham was recognised for his outstanding work towards his Level 3 Furniture Design and Making at Warwickshire College’s Leamington centre.

Jan is now automatically shortlisted for the City & Guilds Group coveted national awards – the Lion Awards. Winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony at London’s Roundhouse on 5th June. He will also compete for the People’s Choice award – the only category voted for by the public. Voting takes place through the dedicated Lion Awards website http://lionawards.cityandguilds.com/content/peoples-choice until 19th May – so cast your vote now.

City & Guilds Group has awarded Medals for Excellence for over 100 years to celebrate exceptional talent amongst both individuals and tutors. This year saw an impressive 101 medals awarded, both in the UK and internationally.

Jan, who completed his qualification with Warwickshire College last year, is now studying for a degree at Rycotewood Furniture Centre in Oxfordshire. During his time at the college, he also designed a spectacular 10 metre “squid bench” for Coombe Country Park near Coventry, and won the college’s Andrew Varah Award for the outstanding furniture-making student as well as the prestigious Alan Peters Award for Excellence at the Cheltenham Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design.

He returned to the college to be presented with the award by Rebecca Hollamby from City and Guilds.

Speaking about his success, Jan said: “It’s really fantastic to be presented with this Medal for Excellence – a real honour. I can’t imagine doing the degree course I am now, without the experience and support I had at Warwickshire College.”

Jamie Ward, Jan’s former tutor at Warwickshire College, said, “I nominated Jan for the Medal for Excellence as we are so proud of all that he has achieved. His success is well-deserved and down to his incredible hard work and dedication – Jan is a student who always goes above and beyond what is expected of him.  It’s been great for him to come back to the college and speak to our current students about his journey and the challenges he has faced, as well as all his success. We wish him the very best of luck for the Lion Awards.”

Speaking about the awards programme, Chris Jones, Chief Executive of City & Guilds Group said: ‘We are all about helping people gain the skills they need to be successful. Part of that is celebrating the wonderful accomplishments that they have along the way. All of our Medals for Excellence winners have demonstrated hard work, dedication and passion, which make them stand out. They should all be proud of their achievements, and I wish them all the best for the Lion Awards and for their futures.’

Warwickshire College offers a range of full and part-time furniture making, wood machining and wood turning courses. For further information go to www.warwickshire.ac.uk/courses or call 0300 45 600 49.