And the Lion Award winners are ...
The world of skills celebrated outstanding achievement at our red carpet Lion Awards ceremony
06 June 2014
The world of skills came together last night to honour the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations at our highly acclaimed Lion Awards.
The annual ceremony celebrates the most inspiring achievers who have accomplished extraordinary results through skills-based learning. The ceremony is the culmination of the coveted Medals for Excellence awards programme, which has run since 1879. This year an impressive 104 learners and tutors won medals. The awards were hosted by CEO Chris Jones and television presenter and adventurer Helen Skelton.
This year's Outstanding Achiever of the Year award was won by construction and bricklaying tutor Andrew Dennis.
The judges said Andrew was selected because of his dedication to helping prisoners get the skills they need to be successful once they leave prison. He has worked with the prison service since 1991. In 2006, he used his own experience as an expert craftsman to open the Brickshop at HMP Maidstone. There he has helped prisoners to develop not only their construction skills, but their employability skills too. His constant commitment to his students helps them to overcome any previous negative educational experiences and exceed their own expectations. He truly sees the potential in each learner and helps them to develop respect and self-esteem.
His colleague says Andrew receives countless letters from ex-offenders who have completed his course and are now employed in the construction industry, which is a testament to his influence. Andrew’s enthusiasm is clearly having an impact on them; he has a 90 per cent retention and achievement rate.
Speaking about his win, Andrew said: ‘It’s great to win a Lion Award, and to be able to help people get the skills they need to re-build their lives after prison. Because City & Guilds qualifications are recognised and respected worldwide, I have had over 50 ex-prisoners achieve employment in the construction industry on release from prison. Achieving can change lives and I have seen this first hand.’
Meanwhile, Chris Jones, CEO, said: ‘It’s a huge achievement to win a Lion Award, and Andrew should feel extremely proud of his accomplishment. It’s inspiring to see how he is changing people’s lives – helping offenders develop their skills and confidence to step into employment. We’re all about helping people get into a job, progress on the job and move on to the next job, and the Lion Awards are for celebrating those who are really living this. And I’m sure Andrew will continue to have a lasting impact on those he teaches.’
Read more about all of this year's Lion Award winners