Construction student in awards finals - three years after suffering brain injury

Soham construction student Haydn Garrod has reached the finals of the Association of Colleges Student of the Year Awards.

Three years after sustaining a brain injury, Soham construction student Haydn Garrod has reached the finals of the Association of Colleges Student of the Year Awards. - Credit: Cambridge Regional College

“When I first sustained my injuries, I thought to myself ‘that’s it, what am I going to do now?’

"But I feel excited about the future now. I can see a way forward.”  

Those are the words of Soham teenager Haydn Garrod, who has made the final six of a national competition – just three years after sustaining a brain injury. 

In 2018, at the age of 15, Haydn was involved in a collision with a car while riding his bike. 

Haydn in rehabilitation

Haydn in rehabilitation - Credit: WWW.HEADWAY.ORG

The crash resulted in Haydn suffering a brain injury that required emergency surgery and he has spent the last three years recovering.  


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After a long period of rehabilitation, and having missed the opportunity to sit his GCSEs, Haydn returned to education at Cambridge Regional College in 2020 on the entry-level construction course.  

Haydn has since returned to CRC to complete his Level 1 Carpentry and dreams of taking on a carpentry apprenticeship.   

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Haydn said: “The thing I enjoy about carpentry is how hands-on and technical it is. It gets me thinking.  

Extensive damage to the car that collided with Haydn.

Extensive damage to the car that collided with Haydn. - Credit: WWW.HEADWAY.ORG

“I really enjoy being in the workshops and like to head there after lessons to gain as much experience as I can.” 

Despite the last three years being challenging for Haydn, he was named learner of the year for his course in the CRC Festival of Achievement.  

Chris Styles, deputy head of department, said: “Haydn has had a fantastic year within the construction department.  

“He is hardworking and is always pushing himself to achieve the best outcomes.” 

When Haydn Garrod came off his bike in August 2018, he suffered a brain injury after colliding with a car.

When Haydn Garrod came off his bike in August 2018, he suffered devastating injuries after colliding with a car and an air ambulance was dispatched to treat him at the scene. However, such were the extent of the 15-year old’s wounds, that paramedics felt it was too risky to transport him by air. - Credit: WWW.HEADWAY.ORG

Earlier this year, Haydn was nominated for the Association of Colleges Young Student of the Year Award by the CRC staff team. The winner will be announced next spring. 

After a shortlisting round in September, Haydn found out he is one of six students to have reached the final from entries submitted by colleges around the UK.  

Haydn added: “Being shortlisted for this award feels good.  

Outside of his education, Haydn fundraises for both The Children’s Trust and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.  

Haydn has also launched a petition to make cycle helmets mandatory for under 16s.  

Haydn’s charity work and campaigning resulted in him being nominated and shortlisted in the Cambridgeshire Live Young Heroes 2021.  

Read more about Haydn’s campaign for change.


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