Posted on Thursday, 03 August 2017 at 1pm
by Lifelong Learning Centre Staff.
The following is a guest post by Sarah Lloyd, a mature student who has recently completed our Preparation for Higher Education course and will be starting on our BA Professional Studies degree in September 2017.
I was a short-listed nominee for the Community Impact Award, in recognition of the work I deliver in schools, community settings and as part of restorative justice in specific cases. I felt this was well-deserved recognition of the work I do around awareness of knife crime and its impact on families, which I have been developing over a number of years.
The awards ceremony took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel and was a prestigious occasion. I was taken aback by the elaborate setting and the size of the venue. The event was sponsored by the Royal Air Force who had a large presence, whilst the audience was made up of representatives of schools from across the country. Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, was present and Julian Clary presented the awards. There was a champagne reception and time for photographs before we were seated for dinner. Representing Bankside Primary School in Leeds, I was seated at a table with a school from Devon, the teachers and Executive Head from which were lovely and very interested in the work I do.
Whilst I didn’t win, it was clear that the work I am doing is getting talked about as a head-teacher from a school in Leeds approached me at the champagne reception and asked me if I would go into her primary school and do some work with pupils from Years 5 and 6. I have since had an initial meeting with them and arranged a further meeting with staff and the Safer Leeds community policing team I work with to discuss delivering some workshops in September. I will also be meeting with a high school from Rothwell in due course.
After the ceremony there was drinks and dancing on the balcony until midnight. I had never been to London and it was a once in a lifetime experience, something to tell the grandchildren about and something to aspire to. Without the opportunity to attend the awards I would not be initiating further preventative work with youngsters in Leeds.
Without the financial support I was given to secure hotel accommodation, travel expenses, tickets for the event itself and evening wear I would not have been in a position to go – thanks to the LLC for making it possible.