Partnership Awards 2020

Our Partnership Awards are an annual opportunity to recognise exceptional key supporters and thank them for all of their efforts and dedication.

Individuals and organisations are nominated in the following categories by their local centre teams and winners are announced at the end of June.

2020 Winners

Individual Categories

Primary School Champion of the Year

Winner – Tracy Legg, Newlands Primary School; Nominated by IntoUniversity Southampton West

Ms Legg has consistently been our biggest ambassador since we have opened the centre in 2016. Her enthusiasm for IntoUniversity’s cause is the reason we have such a successful partnership with Newlands Primary School: over the years she has consistently been able to accommodate our needs (for instance by having workshops in our centre during our donor visit) and she has been a remarkably efficient contact in organising all our delivery and liaising with teachers. In addition, Ms Legg has been able to be a driving recruitment force for Academic Support, targeting specific families for referrals across all the relevant year groups. The ease with which we can communicate with her and her prompt support have meant we have been able to build a strong collaborative relationship with the wider school network, which has had a significant impact on students with specific pastoral, educational and safeguarding needs.

Highly Commended – Sue Harrison; Nominated by IntoUniversity Nottingham Central

Highly Commended – Reece Wickwar; Nominated by IntoUniversity Brighton

Highly Commended – Helen Wright; Nominated by IntoUniversity Weston-super-Mare


Secondary School Champion of the Year

Winner – Gayle Hall, Notre Dame Catholic College; Nominated by IntoUniversity North Liverpool

Having been our main contact for Notre Dame for three years, Gayle is extremely committed and dedicated to providing IntoUniversity with the support that is essential around our Secondary FOCUS delivery. Gayle is the most approachable and friendliest person you could ever have around and this makes every visit to the school so warm and friendly. I think that this year in particular has been a huge success since December 2019, as we had a whole bunch of challenges within workshops such as low attendances and behaviour issues, which I feel Gayle has worked so hard to overcome and improve. Gayle is always organised and runs around school chasing down our students for workshops as well as communicating with teachers, she sets up the TV and laptop in school, and even goes out of her way to ensure that our staff team are happy with everything which includes bacon butties and a coffee every time we visit. Thank you for all you do Gayle, you are truly wonderful!

Highly Commended – Paul Jennings; Nominated by IntoUniversity Leeds Extension Team

Highly Commended – Vanessa Norton; Nominated by IntoUniversity Leeds South

Highly Commended – Brian Talabi; Nominated by IntoUniversity Manchester North


Community Volunteer of the Year

Winner – June Dawes; Nominated by IntoUniversity Haringey North

June is an amazing Academic Support Volunteer who has been volunteering with us for over nine years and has remained consistent and positive. She comes in on a Wednesday and has built great relationships with our students over the years. She usually runs a table by herself or supports students on the homework table; she is always going above and beyond to support as many students as she can in one session. June always completes tasks with the highest of quality and also takes the time to get to know the staff. We are so grateful for having long term volunteers that are the heart of our centre – when staff move on they are there to keep the Haringey identity and culture going.

Highly Commended – Maggie Sutton-Mattocks; Nominated by IntoUniversity North Islington

Highly Commended – Harvinder Kahai; Nominated by IntoUniversity Brighton

Highly Commended – Wasim Javid; Nominated by IntoUniversity East Ham


Corporate Volunteer of the Year

Joint winner – Andy Kent, Angel Solutions LtD; Nominated by IntoUniversity North Liverpool

I don’t know where Andy gets his energy from but he is the most inspirational, motivating, energetic, and passionate person I’ve ever had the pleasure to have met. He is an extremely innovative and engaging professional, and we have been so thankful for his support in Liverpool. During the tours of his offices he really knows how to engage young people and inspire them and I think the message of being able to do what ever you want despite your background clearly shows from Andy’s wise words of inspiration. We are extremely grateful for the continued support from Angel Solutions LtD and Andy and our students always come away from visiting Andy having had an extremely inspirational and humorous experience.

Joint winner – Gareth Juul, Coutts & Co; Nominated by IntoUniversity Hammersmith

Gareth has been part of our Corporate Mentoring programme since 2014. This year he has mentored Alex from the Hammersmith centre. His first meeting with Alex was in July 2019. To say he has been dedicated would be an understatement, Gareth has consistently supported Alex providing hugely valuable help in what can be a very stressful and busy year. Meeting a total of 14 times over this period would be an achievement in itself, but perhaps more valued is the consistency in the support for Alex. This was perhaps best highlighted recently during the application process for Big City Bright Future. This is the first time many of our students experience applying to an internship or job role thus meaning it can be overwhelming at times. Gareth ensured Alex was well and truly prepared, meeting several times during this period to go over practice interview questions, how to research for a job and how to write a CV. The dedication Gareth has shown has been astronomical, his desire to give up his free time to help Alex is truly inspirational and the beneficial effect this has on Alex is evident.

Highly Commended – Nektarios Malekkides, Deloitte; Nominated by IntoUniversity Leeds East

Highly Commended – Judith Wayte, University of Nottingham; Nominated by IntoUniversity Nottingham East

Highly Commended – Sarah Shaw, Trans Union; Nominated by IntoUniversity Leeds Uni Connect


University Student Volunteer of the Year

Winner – Lucy Sumner-Twisk, University of Bristol; Nominated by IntoUniversity Bristol South

Lucy has been one of Bristol South’s most committed mentors; she is currently in her second year of mentoring and aspires to be a maths teacher. For two years running, her and her mentee have been the pair with the most meetings in the centre. As a mentor, Lucy provides high-quality sessions that really approach her mentee’s SMART targets in innovative and engaging ways. For example, mentoring meetings have a real focus on improving her mentee’s confidence in Maths so Lucy designed an Easter Egg Maths hunt challenge where the prize was creating their own paper mache Easter eggs. Lucy is never short on creative ideas for her meetings. The pair have learnt to crochet to improve confidence in trying new things, developed a microwave mug pizza recipe, made Christmas wreaths (Lucy brought a lot of foliage into the classroom!) and last summer, the pair spent the day at Bristol Museum completing activities of Lucy’s design. My favourite memory of the pair was seeing the two of them after their trip with bellies full of ice cream and huge grins on their faces. Lucy also has regularly volunteered at AS to provide in-depth maths support for many grateful GCSE students.

Highly Commended – Elizabeth Mucha; Nominated by IntoUniversity Walworth

Highly Commended – Harry Dewing; Nominated by IntoUniversity Coventry

Highly Commended – James Harrison; Nominated by IntoUniversity Southampton West


IntoUniversity Individual Champion of the Year

Joint winner – Casper Lawson; Nominated by IntoUniversity Hackney South

Casper has been volunteering in Academic Support at Hackney South and North Islington since 2016. He is dedicated to upholding high standards for students, particularly in helping them work through any problems they don’t understand. He is also skilled at helping students find extension tasks when they finish their homework. For example, reading Ian McEwan with Ismail or helping Aisha with maths topics she struggles with. Casper always offers to make the staff a cup of tea, too! In addition to Academic Support, Casper has been involved in many IntoUniversity activities, including the East London Careers Conference, several Law Careers in FOCUS presentations, A-level clearing day, personal statements, Oxbridge interview practice, new centre launches and staff mentoring. This year, he even substituted into Hackney South’s CiF the day before it ran because of a last-minute drop-out. In an interview that he gave for this term’s Secondary FOCUS newsletter, Casper explained that ‘seeing students develop in hard skills, in soft skills, in confidence over the course of a session or over several years’ was, for him, a hugely rewarding aspect of being an IntoUniversity volunteer.

Joint winner – Stewart Slater; Nominated by IntoUniversity Nottingham Central

Stuart is the caretaker at the community centre in which we are based but is so much more than that to the IntoUniversity staff! Stuart is so supportive of IntoUniversity in so many ways: he not only helps us with physical tasks around the centre but also supports our well-being and is always on the door at the end of the day to make us giggle before we leave. Stuart is also a life saver when it comes to setting up the classroom. He always checks our delivery calendar on the wall in the office so he knows exactly how we want the room setting up (he’s particularly skilled at the ‘big circle’ for Thursday of a FOCUS week). Stuart always goes above and beyond to help us- including opening the centre at 6:30am so our students could get to the BCBF Insight Day! His glorious narnia-like store cupboard has also saved us many times, especially in the fight against an ant infestation last summer! Stuart is so down-to-earth and can find a solution to any problem. It’s fair to say that IntoUniversity Nottingham Central wouldn’t be the same without Stuart’s kindness and support on a daily basis.

Highly Commended – Jason Graham; Nominated by IntoUniversity Kennington

Highly Commended – Naimo Abdullah; Nominated by IntoUniversity Bristol East

Highly Commended – Pete Devonport; Nominated by IntoUniversity Brighton


School Categories


Primary School of the Year

Joint winner – Sycamore Academy; Nominated by IntoUniversity Nottingham East

Sycamore Academy have been excellent in their engagement with the Primary FOCUS programme and Academic Support in 2019/20. During a Tudor themed FOCUS week in September 2019, Emma Dewey had only just joined the school as a year six teacher, yet she was fully up to speed with the programme and really excited for her class to participate based on how positively her colleagues had spoken of IntoUniversity which demonstrates Sycamore Academy’s overwhelming endorsement of our organisation. Students were especially encouraged to aim high during FOCUS weeks by the fact that they shared their learning with the entire school during a post-FOCUS week assembly. That the school organises these events to celebrate their time with IntoUniversity clearly demonstrates the value they put on the time spent with us and motivates us as a centre team to deliver a high quality programme. Sycamore Academy massively supports our centre by encouraging young people and their families to engage with all IntoUniversity programmes – this has resulted in 27 Sycamore Academy students currently attending Primary Academic Support, plus another seven on our waiting list!

Joint winner – Easton CE Academy; Nominated by IntoUniversity Bristol East

Easton CE Academy are a longstanding and supportive partner. They continue to provide coaches to take parents to FOCUS week graduations and they have consistently made us a part of the narrative at the school, where staff are friendly and positive about the programme. The headteacher attends graduations and makes a point of thanking staff. This year, staff have also been invited to INSET day training at the school to be able to learn more about how they use Oracy in their school which has benefited how we have developed Oracy resources for the network.

Highly Commended – St Peters Church of England Primary School; Nominated by IntoUniversity Leeds Extension Team

Highly Commended – Charlestown Primary School; Nominated by IntoUniversity Manchester North

Highly Commended – Frederick Bird Primary School; Nominated by IntoUniversity Coventry


Secondary School of the Year

Winner – Nottingham Academy (Greenwood Campus); Nominated by IntoUniversity Nottingham East

Nottingham Academy (Greenwood Campus) have been partnered with IntoUniversity Nottingham East since 2013. Each year work with 2 cohorts, from Year 7 – 11. We are successfully running not only the entire Secondary FOCUS programme there, but Buddy, Careers in FOCUS, Business in FOCUS and Leadership in FOCUS. They have also reached out for support with their own career programme, asking the Nottingham East team to be involved in career fairs and practice interview sessions throughout the year. Yet, our biggest achievement is the retention between Primary FOCUS and Secondary FOCUS: In 2019-20, 79% of students who we worked with at Nottingham Academy (Greenwood Campus) had previously participated in our Primary FOCUS programme, with a 100% of our current year 7’s having previously worked with us! Incredibly, within Year 12 and 13 in Sixth Form, 50% of the students we worked with this academic year, are students who we first saw when they were at primary school – thanks to the on-going drive of the school. Lastly, our partnership with the sixth form has grown hugely over the last two years – the sixth form team are always supportive of the opportunities we provide, and recognise the value of IntoUniversity. This year, we were asked to take part in their Transition Day and Future’s Day, running a session on independent learning and stress-busting respectively. Further, the sixth form team arranged multiple occasions for us to support with personal statements, and encouraged students to sign up (and turn up!), resulting in 59 1:1 sessions! The sixth form team have also supported IntoUniversity through advertising post-16 student enrichment opportunities such as the Big City Bright Future internship – now having 8 candidates who’ve made it through to the final stage! Overall, the main school and sixth form has shown a high level of commitment to the Secondary FOCUS programme, and have not only helped us facilitate our core workshops, but have gone above and beyond to help us have a greater impact across the school community.

Highly Commended – Woodside High School; Nominated by IntoUniversity Haringey North

Highly Commended – Connell Co-op College; Nominated by IntoUniversity Manchester North

Highly Commended – Fulham College Boys’ School; Nominated by IntoUniversity Hammersmith

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Our Partnership Awards are an annual opportunity to recognise exceptional key supporters and thank them for all of their efforts and dedication.