Now in its fifth consecutive year, the Staff Awards for Excellence was the vision of Bradford College Principal, Michele Sutton, OBE, held to mark the achievements of individuals and groups of people who play a vital role in making the College an outstanding place to work and study.
The Awards Ceremony held at the College’s Level 6 Restaurant, honoured staff for showing true dedication and real pride in their work.
Chair of the Corporation, Mr Richard Wightman was delighted to welcome the award winners during the memorable evening, before handing over to Bradford College Principal and Chief Executive Michele Sutton, OBE.
In her opening address, Principal Michele Sutton, OBE said: “This is one of the highlights of my year; I’m delighted to be here with you this evening to celebrate your achievements. We have some of the most talented students in the country - and some of the most committed and dedicated staff who go the extra mile to make the College an outstanding place to work and study. That’s why this evening’s ceremony is really important to us; enabling us to recognise the fantastic work you do within the College.”
Executive Director of Finance, Mr Doug Stott was the Master of Ceremonies during the auspicious occasion. Speaking to award winners and guests, Doug said: “Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and friends, a very warm welcome to this our Staff Awards night. I’ve seen the hard work, effort and commitment that you have put into improving Bradford College - and this evening is a testament to that.”
Vice Principal for Curriculum and Quality, Kath Oldale and Vice Principal of Corporate Services, Andy Welsh paid tribute to staff during the ceremony and watched with pride as Michele Sutton, OBE went on to present the awards to each worthy winner.
Tracy Jennings, Manager of Beacon Recruitment & Placement Services stepped up to received the Executive Award from Principal Michele Sutton. Tracy Jennings is well known as an outstanding and efficient Manager who has been instrumental in placing Bradford College students in a variety of roles despite record unemployment figures. Working with a number of leading organisations, including Bridging the Gap, London 2012 Olympics and Orbis HR she has tackled unemployment and stimulated growth in the economy.
Speaking during the prestigious event, Tracy Jennings said: “I am absolutely humbled and honoured to receive such an award. We all work so hard in every department/programme area, so to be recognised in such a way is just wonderful. I love my job for the interaction with colleagues, employers and students, particularly working on the Bridging the Gap project. Helping our students to work at such a prestigious event as the London 2012 Olympics, a once in a lifetime opportunity, has given me such pride."
Head Chef at the International Food Academy, Colin Burt, scooped the Award for Outstanding Innovation. Colin Burt has been instrumental in driving national and international publicity for the IFA and coming to the aid of the curry crisis with his innovative ideas. Forging links within the industry, Colin has worked in partnership with critically acclaimed restaurant Prashad to break the Guinness World Record for the biggest bhaji in the world in 2011. Colin has since announced that he intends to smash the Guinness World Record for the largest samosa in the world, in partnership with Prashad.
No previous Guinness World Record is held for the biggest samosa in the world – this will set a new precedent! Colin is also the Event Organiser for the National Junior Curry Chef Competition which saw budding young ‘master chefs’ being pushed to the absolute extremes of their cooking abilities, in the battle to take the title.
Colin Burt modestly attributed his achievement to team work from colleagues around the campus, which includes Construction, Engineering, Central Media & Innovation and Occupational Health for their help and support with the Guinness World Record. Colin went on to add that the award meant so much to him as the nomination came from many colleagues across the campus and his regular customers.
The Person That Makes Me Smile Award went to Alwyn Van Haazel. Master of Ceremonies, Doug explained: “Alwyn is a great colleague and teacher; he goes out of his way to care for all his students, and keeps smiling even when workload is challenging. He delivers classes with a positive attitude, making students smile with his terrible jokes and dancing. One student commented that “he even makes ME do silly dancing when I come late to his lessons!” His students describe him as “the best teacher ever”, “his lessons make us smile” and “he makes me feel like learning!”
Naseem Kauser was also highly commended for ‘The Person That Makes Me Smile Award, whilst Finance Administrative Officer Simon Thorpe won the award for Support Role.
The Outstanding Teaching, Training and Learning Awards went to Suzanne Griffiths and Duncan Burnett.
Course Leader for Photography, Suzanne Griffiths has been described as an incredibly enthusiastic and a joyful character, who knows how to put a smile on anyone’s face. Sue has the ability to keep staff motivated and students interested with her passion for photography, which becomes infectious. Suzanne has received an abundance of nominations – with nearly 20 from her students alone! Modestly Suzanne said: “I’m very honoured that the staff and students have nominated me. I wasn’t expecting it so it was a real big shock, but I am really pleased!”
Professor Trevor Griffiths’ Associate Director Innovation and Projects, Head of Photography at Bradford College watched with pride as his wife Suzanne received her award from Principal Michele Sutton.
Speaking during the event, Professor Trevor Griffiths said: “I am unbelievably proud of her as Course Tutor. Suzanne has done amazing things. To come into a programme that didn’t exist, start it from scratch and in five years be in this position where we have a full cohort of students. She is greatly loved by students and staff and I certainly hope that she stays for many more years and continues to build and grow the whole FE provision for Photography.”
Course Tutor for Foundation Learning Apprenticeships, Duncan Burnett is noted for his outstanding classes, which are engaging, interactive and inclusive. He demonstrates passion and commitment to each individual learner, which have played a pivotal role in their success. Commenting on receiving the award, Duncan humbly said: “I was really surprised and really thankful as it’s not often that you have people nominating you for anything. I was really shocked when I opened the envelope and got my letter, because it was completely unexpected.”
During the evening’s formal dinner, our award winning staff and guests were treated to outstanding musical performances from the School of Arts and Media Department students Dineo Motaung, Kim Chuah, Dan Mungovin and Emma Henry. Whilst students from the NVQ Level 2 & 3 Hospitality and Catering Course prepared, cooked and served a three course dinner.
The winner of the Exceptional Team of the Year Award went to the Vocational Science Team, whilst the Skills for Life and the FE Registry Team were highly commended for their valuable contributions to the College in this category.
Colleagues who were also recognised for their remarkable achievements included: Saghir Iqbal and Waqar Aijaz who were highly commended in the Innovation Awards.
Saghir Iqbal has been commended for commitment to innovation with the FE Business and Enterprise team. Remarking on the nomination, Saghir said: “I’m really grateful to my programme manager, the department for nominating me – and Bradford College itself. It’s nice to feel appreciated. I’m very grateful – thank you very much!”
As he accepted his award from Principal Michele Sutton, Waqar Aijaz said: “I feel very honoured to have been nominated for this award. I would like to thank my team, especially my manager David Smith who has been very kind nominating me. Thanks a lot.”
Programme Manager for Law Darran Chapple and Hilary Page from the English Language Centre won the coveted Leadership Award.
Esteemed members of the Corporation Mr Alan Jerome and Dr Raminder Singh also turned out to support and celebrate the success of Bradford College staff during the annual awards evening.