And our Student of Excellence 2017 is…

Mar 23, 2017
Posted in: Ragdale Hall News   Posted by: Joni Appleton


If you’ve visited Ragdale Hall you’ll know we have a very comprehensive menu of treatments available, including facials, wraps, floats, massages, specialist anti-ageing treatments, manicures, pedicures and holistic and complementary therapies. And because we offer so many, we have a lot of therapists (around 120 in fact) who are very highly trained and committed to ensuring you, our guests, have an amazing experience with us.

But did you know our Recruitment Team works with many colleges around the UK to develop and nurture Beauty students, who are potentially our therapists of the future.

Of these, 25 colleges who meet our strict criteria, which include high standards of training, are awarded Ragdale Hall ‘College of Excellence’ status.

One of the great benefits of being a College of Excellence is they are eligible to enter our annual Student of Excellence competition, where the winning student is awarded a Beauty Therapist position with us, along with a fantastic employment package, training and a cash bonus after a year in the role.

We recently hosted the final of this year’s competition and 11 finalists (from 18 who took part in the first heat) battled it out for first place. These students are qualified to Level 2 in Beauty and working towards their Level 3 qualifications.

Having clinched their places in the final by performing a pedicure and facial in the first round, the finalists performed a body massage and manicure, sat a difficult theory exam, and underwent an extensive one-to-one interview with a member of Ragdale’s Recruitment Team in the final (and we know those ladies are scary!)

So we are delighted to announce Alicia Penney from North Warwickshire and Hinkley College scooped the top prize.

Abbie Redfern from New College, Stamford, also secured a Beauty Therapist position and generous package with us, after finishing as runner up to Alicia.

As our winner, Alicia will take up her full-time Beauty Therapist position with us in the summer – a role she’s dreamt of since she was 16. She told us: “I’ve wanted to become a Ragdale Hall Beauty Therapist since visiting Ragdale Hall with my mum and sister as a guest when I was 16.

“I remember thinking how professional the therapists were and how interesting and varied the beauty industry is, and I knew I wanted to become one of the Ragdale Hall team. My college had good links with Ragdale Hall and my tutor, Rachel Atkins, has been very supportive and encouraged me all along.”

Alicia added: “I’m ecstatic to have won as the standard was really high and the competition was nerve-wracking – but I did enjoy it. Looking around I could see all the girls competing were very skilled so I knew I had to try extra hard, but I’d practised and prepared so much I knew I’d done my best on the day.

“Even though we were all competing against each other, all the girls were very friendly and it’s been great to meet like-minded people as we all want to be the best we can be and successful in our careers in beauty. I can’t wait to start!”

The 11 finalists were: Alicia Penney – North Warwickshire & Hinkley College; Abbie Redfern – New College Stamford; Shannon Vallely – East Midlands College, Derby; Elisabeta-Adela Serbu – Tresham College, Kettering; Jessi Edwards -Loughborough College; Demi-Leigh Shearer – Loughborough College; Lara Mobberley – Dudley College; Hayley Davies – Brooksby Melton College; Kelsey Blackburn- Lincoln College (Newark campus); Vanessa Neves – Peterborough Regional College; Imogen Bilsbrough – Derby College.


The competition was very close and the standards from all of the students exceptionally high, and we’re confident many of the finalists will go on to become therapists with us in the future.

Congratulations to  Alicia and Abbie, and to all the students who competed, and we look forward to seeing you around the Hall very soon!

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