Let us introduce some of our 2020 award winners.
Gerry Alabone and the Geoffrey Bond Bursary for Art.
Gerry is a teacher and researcher at the City and Guilds London Art School. He trained at Bath Academy of Art and Conservation and London Guildhall University where he developed his passion for wood and conservation. He has had an impressive 20 year career specialising in picture frames, with senior positions at the Tate, London Guildhall Art Gallery and the national Trust. Gerry is also an acknowledged researcher in the interdependence of design, making and conservation in the fine and decorative arts. The bursary will help Gerry to attend the prestigious Royal Collections Studies Course at the royal palaces.
Here is Gerry at work – returning a portrait of Roger Bacon in his lovingly restored frame to its space in the frieze at Knole, a National Trust property in Kent, for the first time in three hundred years. ( National Trust / Daphne Gilbert, 2018)
Nicola won the Mary Lou Carrington Award for a business woman with a significant contribution to education.
Nicola held senior sales positions with major blue-chip companies before she started her own successful firm, Company Shortcuts in 2004, helping companies scale up their growth in sales. She is on the Smith & Williamson Power 100 list of individuals who champion UK entrepreneurs. But her upbringing in the North-East decimated by the collapse of heavy industry made her committed to education and improving young people’s life chances..
For every business investor in her company’s training programme, Nicola sponsors a student to attend its sales master class. She is also a very popular speaker on the Speakers For Schools programme. In the last 6 years she has addressed over 1,250 students at state secondary schools all over the North East, with the message, “Design the life you want, don’t settle for the life you have”.
Each year the Trustees choose a theme for the eight prizes know as The Inspirational Educator Award. In 2020 the theme was teaching Shakespeare in challenging settings. Twenty nominations were received from across the country for educators engaged in creative projects with learners of all ages and in training teachers about how to excite students about the Bard.
We present here only one of the eight winners – Georghia Ellinas.
Over a 20 year period, Georghia was the main architect of the education and outreach work of the famous Globe Theatre in London. Georghia’s innovations are myriad. For pre-school and primary children she invented Shakespeare ‘story sacks’ and devised Shakespeare Storytelling. For older children she makes Shakespeare’s themes relevant to their lives. For example, they explore the treatment of Malvolio in Twelfth Night in the context of bullying; Sixth formers, considering law at university are invited to put a Shakespearian character on trial. She developed collaborative links with drama colleges and universities so that students can learn from leading Shakespeare scholars and expert theatrical professionals.
The Southwark Youth Theatres, she instigated, engage disadvantaged young people including SEND in free weekly practical workshops leading to performances, while the Give-Away Tickets Scheme, Georghia negotiated with Deutsche Bank, enables state school children to see for free Shakespeare on stage, often their first visit to live theatre.
The impact of her work is felt through extensive outreach in the UK and internationally via the teachers’ toolkit she devised, textbooks she has written, CPD workshops and digital resources. She has made an outstanding contribution to Shakespeare education.
Lizzi Kew Ross
Lizzi won the Keith Hutton Award for Theatre and Performing Arts
She is a teacher and choreographer at the world famous Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. Lizzi teaches creative and performance modules, interweaving her pedagogy with her professional artistic practice and her research.
Her commissioned choreographic works with students have been performed at the Tate Exchange, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Hayward Gallery. Lizzi has also been involved in community projects. The Albany Theatre Festival included a composer, local community choirs and dance groups. In 2019, her dance film, ‘Sea Change, on loss at sea’, was selected for the prestigious Dance Screen Festival and she was nominated for the Inspirational Lecturer Award for One Dance UK.
Lizzi has been offered a fellowship at Durham University for 2020, which will include performances of Open Stations, a collaboration with a visual artist and writer at Durham and Bristol cathedrals.
The Keith Hutton bursary will support Lizzi’s research work.
Lizzi in dance studio demonstrating choreographic moves to Trinity Laban students.
Ishmail is a serving prisoner at HMP Havering. He won the Prison Educator of the Year Award which we developed jointly with the Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET), a national charity working to improve education for prisoners in the UK.
PET invite nominations from serving prisoners for awards for people in prisons who help prisoners to learn. Ishmail received the largest nominations and they were unanimous in their appreciation of the support Ishmail had given them. He encouraged them to attend education classes, provided help in their study for qualifications, and gave extra help for non-English speakers and learners with sight impairment. He also helped them to develop emotional and social skills to better cope with prison life and the world outside when they were released. The nominators said that he was unstinting in the time he gave to prisoners, listening to their concerns and resolving their difficulties when he could.
As a Peer Mentor, his own journey was inspirational to his mentees and made them want to improve their lives. Several wrote that he had made them realize their potential, changed their attitudes, improved their self-esteem and made them determined not to re-offend. His contribution was summed up in one prisoner’s quote, “He is a real role model with massive impact.”