Students are thrilled to learn that one of the staff members at their college has been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Di Layzelle has been made a member of the order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to further education.

Her first job in education was as a school PE teacher before she moved to Croydon College to help with the development of a vocational sports course.

She has worked at the college for more than 25 years in various roles and is now head of student life.

Students were queuing up to pay tribute after being told the news about her MBE.

Ryan Raghoo, 18, said: "Di’s energy levels are amazing, she will always push you to the very best that you can be, even when you don’t believe in yourself she does."

"Di motivates and inspires everyone around her," said 23-year-old Dualle Ahmed.

Soraia Barbosa, 20, said: "Di supports everyone and always provides opportunities to develop and build professional and personal skills.

"She always has a smile on her face and is a huge ball of positive energy."

Twenty-year-old Dorcas Yeboah said: "Di doesn’t accept negativity, she always pushes you to be the best you can be and encourages you to believe in yourself.

"She genuinely cares about everyone she meets."

Gloria Nsiah, 20, added: "Di sees things in people they don’t see in themselves, she encourages us to be the best we can be in all that we put our minds to."

Mrs Layzelle's proudest achievement has been developing a culture of volunteering among students.

Last year Croydon College became the first further education institution to receive the Queen’s award for voluntary service, after learners clocked up 18,000 hours of voluntary work in one academic year.

This year they have completed more than 24,000 hours of volunteering.