Leeds Awards Ceremony Celebrates the Achievements of Yorkshire Students
18 November, 2016
A bit of extra sparkle was brought to Leeds on Friday, 18th November, with the annual aspire2work awards taking place at the Carriageworks Theatre. The aspire2work awards were presented to 17 finalists selected from over 1,500 learners aged 16-19 years with a further 3 for Tutor of the Year, Employer of the Year and Provider of the Year.
The event was hosted by Yorkshire actress, model and singer Natalie Anderson, a renowned Emmerdale star who is now a regular presenter on This Morning. Miss February and Miss September, two of the original Calendar Girls, who are back in the spotlight with Gary Barlow’s new musical based on their inspiring story hitting the West End, attended the ceremony and inspired the learners with their story of their famous calendar and the fabulous work they have done to raise over £4m for the charity, Bloodwise. From the sporting world, the charming Team GB boxer Connor Loftus presented awards to our aspiring learners.
The aspire2work awards are now in their 6th year. Employers, learning providers and the young people put forward their nominations with just 17 learners making it into the four categories of Most Improved Learner, Most Dedicated Learner, High Achiever and Learner of the Year.
A panel of employers faced the challenging task of selecting the 4 overall winners to be awarded their Oscars by Natalie during the celebration. Many of the learners left school with few or no qualifications and within a year have gained English, maths and vocational qualifications helping them move on to college or in to a job.
The well-deserved finalist and winners, from across the Yorkshire and Humber region, were:
Most Dedicated Learner
Winner - Clisford Oti Yaw
Finalist - Chloe Lappin
Finalist - Ryan Barnes
Finalist - Kane Hartley
Most Improved Learner
Winner - Amanda Massey
Finalist - Anas Khan
Finalist - Blake Martin
Finalist - Momina Ahmed
Winner - Jack Perks
Finalist - Fatima Karolia
Finalist - Abel Abebe
Finalist - Helena Thomson
Learner of the Year
Winner - Megan Thompson
Finalist - Nimrah Shah
Finalist - Connor Dockerty
Finalist - Sharinagha Safi
Finalist - Niloofar Bagherizadeh
The aspire2work programme wouldn’t be a success without the training providers, employers and tutors that work with us, so awards were also presented for:
Employer of the Year
Cromwell Property Services
Provider of the Year
Tutor of the Year
Samantha Mitchell from YCC
Joanne Dye, Director of Learning for the aspire2work study programme, said: “We are so pleased to have given our learners a real chance to celebrate their achievements and show that their efforts have been recognised.”
“Aspire2work is a vocational study programme offering free courses to 16-19 year olds. The learners often faced difficulty at school, leaving with no qualifications. Many have to overcome multiple barriers such as language, homelessness, mental health issues such as low self-esteem, depression or chaotic home lives. It is so rewarding seeing learners prosper on a course that they may once had thought was beyond their capabilities.”
“We are grateful to our partner organisations who help provide training to our learners and employers who have offered such great work experience opportunities and the awards recognise these too.”
Finalists and their guests celebrated with an after show VIP street food party following the awards where the Calendar Girls offered guests cherry buns for pudding!
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