A reflection: Aimhigher London Practitioner Awards 2023

As the academic year drew to a close, we celebrated the achievements and hard work of our partners, individuals and collaborators in the magnificent Waldegrave Drawing Room at St Mary’s University.Dr Anna Lise Gordon, St Mary's University

We took the opportunity to hear from guest speakers and offer an overview of the year and what’s to come.

Dr Anna Lise Gordon, St Mary’s University, was our first speaker who discussed students’ mental health at university with a research focus on wellbeing and resilience.

Kieran Roper, Fustal CoachOur second speaker was Kieran Roper, a graduate of University Campus of Football Business (UCFB), now working as a professional futsal coach and alumni of Aimhigher London sustained and progressive programme through his former school, Carshalton Boys Sports College. Kieran’s speech was heart-warming and inspiring to everyone in the room.

We also heard from a university and a school, Nikki Angleheri, Head of WP, St Mary’s University and Simon Hart, Principal, Springwest Academy, who detailed the impact and value of AHL programmes in their institutions.

“Aimhigher are doing a fantastic job taking down barriers to equity and inclusion in higher education and I am glad to have had the opportunity to be the change I want to see in higher education.” Tara Collingwoode-Williams, Goldsmiths University.

The moment you have been waiting for, the winners of the Aimigher London Practitioner Awards 2023 are:

Inspiring: Demonstrating an ability to inspire and motivate a positive role model to learners.

Winner: Lorna Ellis, Carshalton Boys Sports College

“This has made me realise what a difference it does make to the students and that there’s actually been a lot of students who have gone through AHL programmes and are now out there, at university, fulfilling their dreams because they had a seed of an idea.”

“Any one event or activity on its own you are proud of but when you see it all together and realise the impact it has had – that is really powerful!”

Thanks to our nominees: Lucy Eckersley, Royal Veterinary College; Holly Bazley, St Mary’s University and Tara Collingwoode-Williams, Goldsmiths University.

Commitment: Going the extra mile, demonstrating commitment to and engagement with the work of Aimhigher London.

Winner: Mandip Birk, St Mary’s University.

“I feel really valued and appreciated by Aimhigher. I think that is really works because Aimhigher provides us with the audience and ambassadors and we are trusted to deliver what we think will work.”

Thanks to our nominees: Melba D’Mello, Quest Academy and Christabel Yeboah, Goldsmiths University.


Collaboration: Going above and beyond to develop impartial collaborative outreach opportunities that make a difference.

Winner: Melba D’Mello, Quest Academy.

Thanks to our nominees: Lorna Ellis, Carshalton Boys Sports College, Tracy Lewis, Merton Virtual School and Umber Mokal, Mont Rose College.

Ethos and Values: Embedding the work of Aimhigher London within their institution.

Winner: Marcela San Sebastian, Logic Studio School.

“Thank you very much for the award, but above all, thank you for all the support along these years. Our job is much easier when we work in partnership with an organisation like Aimhigher. Our success in widening our students’ options could not be done without the support and opportunities that Aimhigher brings in.”

Marcella continued to say “…it is very rewarding seeing our young people considering different paths for their future, realising there are no limits to what career they want to pursue and to what they can achieve – and that is what we are all here for; broadening their aspirations and helping them on their way. Thank you.”

Thanks to our nominees: Helen Duncan, St Mary’s University and Henrike Wilford, Ricards Lodge High School.

Student Ambassador of the Year: An outstanding contribution as a positive role model to learners.

Winner: Marie Nyvang Hansen, St Mary’s University.

Thanks to our nominee: Katie Birditt, Roehampton University.

Champion over Time: Significant and sustained commitment to the work of Aimhigher London.

Winner: Nancy Bentley, St Mary’s University.

“I am in a very good mood at the end of the term anyway, but this has been really special. Aimhigher has a very dedicated team and it’s lovely to be part of the extended team!”

Thanks to our nominees: Lorna Ellis, Carshalton Boys Sports College and Dr Sarah Hopp, City University of London.

School of the Year: An outstanding contribution to the development of the Aimigher London network.

Winner: Carshalton Boys Sports College.

“A lot of teachers and people in education are dragging until the holiday but this event is really motivational and inspirational.”

“You come to the event and you want to win an award so it motivates you to do more next year and have more of an impact because you know what you’re doing is going to be recognised by the students and the people you work with.” Lorna Ellis, Carshalton Boys Sports College.

Thanks to our nominees: The Quest Academy, Logic Studio School and Ricards Lodge High School.

Institution of the Year: An outstanding contribution to the development of the Aimhigher London network.

Winner: St Mary’s University.

“Winning the award is a validation of the hard work so many people have put in over the last year and I think it also demonstrates that our values and principles of collaboration and valuing individuals and their contributions work.” Nikki Anglheri, St Mary’s University.

Thanks to our nominees: Goldsmiths University and the University of West London.

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