Long-serving staff members were praised for their dedication to education at a special event at Bradford College.
Staff who have worked at the college for 30 years or more were presented with trophies and certificates of recognition at a celebration lunch hosted by the Chief Executive Officer, Chris Webb.
Collectively the 15 members of staff to have reached the impressive milestone have given 506 years’ service in a range of areas including teaching, customer service, finance, technical support, creative media and administration.
Among those being recognised was Dilshad Arshad, who has taught thousands of people to cook in her 30-year career teaching short courses in Asian Cookery at College sites and community venues across the city.
“I learned to cook from my mother and still use her recipes and my own in my lessons,” she said.
“I enjoy passing on my knowledge and sharing my passion for Asian food. I teach men and women, young and old and beginner and intermediate level. I feel happy and appreciate the recognition from the college.”
Dilshad Arshad has delivered Asian Cookery lessons at Bradford College for 30 years
The longest-serving employee, Margaret Appleyard, has notched up an extraordinary 39 years having started in the first week of July, 1980. Remarkably, she also spent the two years prior to starting her employment as a student at the college, completing a secretarial qualification.
Margaret Appleyard receives her long-service award from CEO Chris Webb and Sarah Cooper, Director of People Services
Margaret, who began as secretary to the head of the maths workshop and now advises students on financial matters as Student Finance Team Leader, said: “My role is very different to when I started and the college is very different too, which is probably why it doesn’t feel as long as it is.
“I have stayed because I enjoy it. I have received an award from the Students’ Union for the support I have given to students and I have had people come up to me in the supermarket and say thank you for helping them to be able to afford to study. So, it is a job with real rewards, knowing you are helping students.”
The second longest-serving member of staff is science technician Andrew Wade, who started in September 1980.
He works in the science laboratories supporting students learning to be science teachers or studying GCSE, A Level or BTEC science.
He said: “I enjoy working with students and I have made many friends amongst both staff and students along the way.
“I have always been interested in and believe in the importance of science.
“I was very pleased to be recognised at the lunch. It was a thoughtful gesture by the college and I felt a certain amount of pride at being recognised for my long service.”
Also celebrating were three members of staff who, like Margaret, started out in the maths workshop – lecturers Marcia Parke, Jawaid Akbar and Martin Daly with the latter pair starting on the very same day 35 years ago.
Margaret Appleyard, Jawaid Akbar, Marcia Parke and Martin Daly, all began their long careers in the maths workshop
CEO Chris Webb, who joined the College three months ago, congratulated the group on their achievement.
He said: “It was a privilege to present a token of appreciation to each of the long-serving staff members and to recognise what they have given to the College, to their colleagues, to students and to the city of Bradford.
“It is important to recognise the enormous effort and commitment people give to College.
“Working in further education is very rewarding but it is often very frustrating too, given the constant change and pressures in the sector. For so many members of staff to have reached three decades’ loyal service and hard work is outstanding.”