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BUSINESS STUDENT COMMENDED FOR DISABILITY WORK

A selfless Business student from Stratford-upon-Avon College has been presented with a certificate of appreciation for his volunteering efforts with the adaptive section of Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club.

Jake Blatcher, 17, first joined Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club’s adaptive section, which aims to support those in the club with disabilities, two years ago through his involvement with Shakespeare Lions, a local club that has been supporting the community for over 50 years. Jake has also recently received the prestigious Shakespeare Lions Young Ambassador Award for his ongoing voluntary work.

Student sat in boat holding oars
Jake Blatcher donated his prize money to Stratford-upon-Avon Boat Club's adaptive section

As part of the boat club, Jake has been displaying great skill in sculling, impressing Head Coach Mark Dewdney who commented: “The ambassador award was well warranted. A young man prepared to help others without reward. Despite it being a difficult skill for him he represented both himself and the club in an exemplary manner during the award selection process. We are very proud of him.”

Jake described Mark as a role model: “Mark has been very supportive, I joined the adaptive section because I have OCD and high functioning ASD. Mark helped me to support others within the club with disabilities.”

Student standing and holding certificate
Jake was presented with a certificate of appreciation from Shakespeare Lions

During lockdown, Jake decided to further support his boat club by getting involved with the Shakespeare Lions’ Young Ambassador Competition, which he won, with the intention to donate his prize fund to the boat club’s adaptive section. His donation will go towards funding equipment such as adaptive grips.

Jake explained that since getting involved with the club, he has taken part in over 10 regattas. His true fulfilment though comes from supporting his teammates: “I enjoy helping those in the adaptive section and I know they appreciate my company and support too, so it really is a win-win situation.”

It’s not only in sculling and volunteering that Jake has impressed. Support Tutor Diane Simkiss commented: “This is Jake’s second year at college, and I am immensely proud of how his confidence has grown in that time. Last year Jake found GCSE English especially challenging and after attending additional classes he passed in the summer which was a huge achievement for Jake. Jake is an absolute pleasure to work with and always gives 100%.”

Currently enjoying his Business course and already dabbling in stocks and shares, Jake looks forward to starting his career in Finance once he finishes college.

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