Ben award

Ben is the top trainee in the country

An East Kent Hospitals’ trainee pharmacy technician based at the William Harvey Hospital has won a national award in recognition of his hard work and dedication.

Ben Smith, who is based at the William Harvey Hospital, has collected the Pre-registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician of the Year Award at the annual conference and celebration event organised by the Association of Pharmacy Technicians United Kingdom (APTUK).

The star student then made a special trip to Bradford College in West Yorkshire to show off his trophy and certificate to tutors he had only previously seen on a computer screen.

As a distance learning student, for the past two years Ben has had his lessons from Kent – via a virtual classroom.

He has combined his studies with working as a trainee pharmacy technician at East Kent Hospitals. One day a week he has logged onto the internet in the hospital for real-time lessons with lecturers sitting in a classroom almost 250 miles north in Bradford College.

“The distance learning has worked brilliantly for me and the course has genuinely changed my life,” said Ben, who having completed the course with the highest possible grade, a distinction star, has secured full-time employment with the Trust along with the three other Bradford College students based at East Kent Hospitals.

“I didn’t really know what to expect with distance learning but I enjoyed every minute of it. You feel you are in a one-to-one with your teacher you can listen to the lesson with no distractions. I would happily recommend it to anyone.”

As well as the APTUK award, Ben also won Bradford College’s own Student of the Year Award for his course. His prize from the college was a Samsung Tablet.

He accepted the award from his pharmacy lecturers Sarah Habeeb and Niaz Akbar, who described the decision to select him for the honour as a “no-brainer”.

“Ben has been a dedicated, motivated and enthusiastic student who has achieved distinctions throughout,” said Sarah.

“The effort he has put in during his course has been exceptional.”

Ben said: “I was thrilled to win both the awards. When I reflect on what I achieved in the last two years I am very proud of myself and grateful to Bradford College for all the support.”

 Although born and raised in Kent, Ben did have a link to Bradford College before enrolling on his course. His grandfather John studied engineering at the institution half a century earlier. 

The distance learning has worked brilliantly for me and the course has genuinely changed my life"

Ben Smith