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Award Introduced as a Tribute to an Exceptional DCG Colleague

Award Introduced as a Tribute to an Exceptional DCG Colleague

This year, a special new award has been introduced at Derby College Group’s (DCG) Automotive Celebration.

The award, affectingly entitled ‘The Wilf Award’, is in tribute to a friend and colleague of the college, Adrian Clarke - fondly known as Wilf - who passed away suddenly aged just 47 in December last year. Wilf left a wife, Vicki and two children Luke and Lucy.

The Wilf Award was one of a number of awards presented at the recent DCG Automative Celebration that recognised the achievements of the College’s automotive students. The celebration demonstrated the students’ enthusiasm for their field and all their diligence and hard work. Vicki and her children attended the celebration.

The Wilf Award was awarded to Level One Automotive student, Leon Bailey, Gareth outlined

“Wilf was the most supportive colleague inside and outside of work. He would always help anybody and nothing was too much trouble for him. That is why we chose the criteria for the Wilf Award to be the most supportive, polite, and cooperative student – all attributes that Wilf exemplified.”

“And we felt that Leon demonstrated these qualities really well. He is a student rep who has supported his fellow students incredibly well and is always extremely helpful.”

Gareth Sullivan-Pearce, Motor Vehicle Team Manager, led the ceremony and was able to showcase many examples of great work and dedication from the students. Guests, teachers and fellow students all celebrated the students’ achievements and heard inspiring stories and engaging updates about their experiences and accomplishments.

Gareth commented about his friend “Wilf was a dear friend and colleague to us all. Working as a Curriculum Support Assistant, he was one of the longest serving team members and a popular member of our department. He was also brilliant with the students, being supportive but cheeky. He knew how to talk to them on their level, he loved to get involved and have fun with them, and they liked him the more for it.” 

Gareth remembers Wilf with fondness and said

“Wilf was brilliant at his job. Wilf was always welcoming to everyone and regularly would have a warm cup of tea waiting for his colleagues in the canteen.”

Wilf’s wife Vicki is sponsoring the Award going forward. Recipients of the Award will receive Snap-On tool vouchers, which is a fitting tribute, as Wilf was an advocate for the automotive industry and seeing students transition from education into the sector.

Wilf’s wife Vicki commented

“Wilf thoroughly enjoyed his job, passing on his knowledge and skills as a Motor Vehicle Mechanic to future generations of mechanics.

Wilf’s passion for particularly classics cars has rubbed off onto both of our children and even I have learnt to get excited about classics cars over our 27 years together. 

“He would often get come home telling me funny stories about what his students had got up to that day but most importantly he would passionately tell me about their progress and achievements. He would talk about watching them achieve something new and how he enjoyed watching their confidence grow”.

Wilf’s children, Luke and Lucy, are fundraising to fulfil an ambition that he had. Their dad was a lifetime classic car fan, particularly classic Minis. Wilf left behind his unfinished 1275 GT classic Mini Clubman project, which was his pride and joy. It is now their mission to complete this project in his memory. Luke and Lucy have such lovely memories of their dad taking them to motor shows and they would love to be able to showcase the Mini at different shows all around the country, just as he would've loved to do himself. And Lucy will be jumping out of a plane later this month on the 29th June to help raise more funds for the car project.

Anyone wishing to donate can do so via Just Giving:

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