Saturday, February 4, 2023

USP College students recognised for their business professionalism Thurrock’s Next Top Boss.

USP College, Palmer’s Campus, students recognised for their business professionalism at the recent Thurrock’s Next Top Boss.

THURROCK’S Next Top Boss gives young people the chance to work with employers on real business challenges. They learn about a range of career opportunities and the skills employers want, as well as getting real-life experiences that aren’t in any textbook. It’s a chance for young people to show employers what they can do – it looks great on a CV or an application for that next career move.


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The challenge this year, set by Thurrock Council’s Public Health Team, for the college’s Care Ready College Company was to raise awareness of mental health within the local community amongst the youth of today, ages 16-25.

Care Ready is one of the College Companies at the college which allows students to get hands-on experience by working on real briefs set by external companies, giving students a cutting edge advantage over students at other schools or colleges. The Care Ready company includes students studying health, care and medical courses.

The students chosen for this challenge were the college’s BTEC Level 3 Health & Social Care students, who were split into groups and had to present their business proposals to Elozona Umeh, Senior Public Health Programme Manager who leads on Children’s Public Health and Karen Balthasar, Public Health Graduate Trainee, both from the Public Health Team at Thurrock Council.

Two groups from the college stood out to the Public Health Team, and although the winning group for the college who went forward to represent Palmer’s Campus did not win the overall prize, a student from another group, Toni Beauchamp, walked away with the ‘Individual stand out student’ award, given for her exceptional work in organising and planning her presentation.

The winning group for the college consisted of Cerys Woodard, Summer Stewart and Siobhan Cross who created an original song (sang by Cerys Woodard) and dance (performed by Summer Stewart and Cerys Woodard) which left some of our externals in tears due to the powerful message behind their performance. Siobhan Cross worked on the research elements of the project and assisted the girls throughout with their dance.

Toni was part of a second group who produced an anonymous video of a student who held up cards with words on to express how they felt about the stigma of mental health, what their struggles are and how they try and overcome depression and anxiety.

Toni, 18 from Tilbury, who hopes to go on to university to become a Paramedic said “I was so shocked to win the award. The video was really hard to make as it was very emotional because it is so sensitive. I’m so proud of how the team worked together, we all came together.”

Sharmilla Guit, Head of Learning for Health, Social Care and Early Years at the college, said: “This was an excellent opportunity to get involved with community business partners and we were honoured to work with the Public Health Team at Thurrock Council on such an important project. I want to thank Elozona Umeh and her team for their mentoring and trust. We are extremely proud of the students’ hard work, dedication and professionalism. Thurrock’s Next Top Boss has allowed them to shine.”

For further information on our College Companies and how you can get involved contact



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