Pride of Tameside Awards

8 January 2013

Finalists included;

AS/A Level Achievement Learner of the Year

Jonathan Deakin
Nicholas Barraclough
Alexandra Marvel

Vocational Learner of the Year

Louise Edwards

Special Award for National Recognition and Achievement

Georgia Taylor Brown
Samantha Coates

Young Persons Community Engagement Award

Taslima Rafique
Samantha Coates

Young Persons Award for Personal Achievement and Success

Louise Edwards
Martin Rodger

Youth Ambassador for Tameside – Alex Williams Award (Believe and Achieve)

Taslima Rafique
Zubiah Iqbal
Samantha Coates

Jonathan Deakin

Winner of the A/AS Learner of the Year 2012 Award

Jonathan’s outstanding academic results placed him at the very top of his year group at college in this or any year. He exudes intellectual curiosity, crackles with mental energy and is enthusiastically articulate about a wide range of topics across the gamut of human knowledge and activity. In addition to excelling in his academic work, we quickly discovered what a tremendously good-natured, mature and well-rounded individual he is. He took every opportunity to extend his own intellectual and personal experiences and contributed generously to college life. Jonathan is already a superb ambassador for the Tameside Borough as he begins his studies in Maths and Physics at Jesus College Cambridge.

Jonathan’s tremendous industry produced fantastic academic standards (including 600/600 for Maths A Level), showing real character in responding to the challenge of the Cambridge STEP papers.

His final A-level grades of A*, A* and A are highly impressive on their own, but when added to his outstanding contribution to college life, it becomes abundantly clear what a gifted and special young man Jonathan is.

Samantha Coates

Winner of the Special Award for National Recognition and Achievement

It is no ‘ordinary’ young person who gets to dine with the Queen!  Samantha Coates is as far away from the ordinary as it is possible to get.  This young woman’s energy, commitment and dynamism became apparent almost immediately to her college teachers.  One might reasonably imagine that a young lady combining a full time college course with significant caring duties (for her disabled mother) might have enough on her plate with little time or energy to give to anything else.  Not Samantha…

Samantha has positively influenced the lives of hundreds of children and young people across Tameside and Greater Manchester, quite rightly bringing her local and national recognition for outstanding work. 

She has been a volunteer tennis coach for five years, which has involved coaching children and running tennis tournaments, including helping to run the Manchester tennis Tournaments 2011 and 2012, for which she achieved a “100 hours +” V-involved Award.  She works tirelessly to mobilise other volunteers and participants to ensure that events such as Sport Relief Mile, Soccer Aid, Greater Manchester School Games and National badminton Championships are successful.

Samantha’s role in the recent London Olympics reflects the level of regard for her abilities – she was a Manchester Olympic Ambassador and Zone Manager and represented Manchester in the Olympic parade and the torch relay celebration at Manchester Town Hall. She was even interviewed by BBC North West about being the youngest Olympic Ambassador.

Recognition for her outstanding contribution has come in many forms, including a Young Officials Awards, Junior Sports Leaders Award, Manchester Sports Volunteer of the Year 2011, Guinness Northern Counties Young Rising Star of the Year 2012, and not least, lunch with the Queen

Louise Edwards

Winner of the Young People’s Award for Personal Achievement and Success 

Louise is an outstanding student in every way and fully deserving of a Pride of Tameside Award. In September Louise embarked upon an Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care.  Her teachers quickly noted her diligence, intelligence and huge potential, which were confirmed by her first placement report, where her Supervisor described her as having “a natural flair” for working with a diverse range of NHS Service users.

Louise’s teachers cannot think of enough superlatives to do her justice – highly motivated, creative, capitalises upon (and appreciates) all opportunities open to her, a leader and supporter of others and “the ultimate role-model”.

Louise worked at Distinction level throughout her course, never dropping a grade.  This fact becomes even more impressive given the tragic events within her family in her final six months of study.  In December 2011, Louise’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, which a month later was found to be terminal.  Louise took on weighty caring duties and despite her mother passing away in May 2012, Louise remained enthusiastic and positive, refusing to indulge in self-pity, just getting on with her studies.  She presented all work to set deadlines and the quality of her work was commended by the external assessors for its clarity, depth and insight.

Louise has the perfect attitude to life and work.  Her dedication to her work is matched by her contribution to, and enjoyment of, other aspects of her life.  She continued with her work as a gymnastics coach throughout her studies and her mother’s illness, and worked for ‘Camp America’ in summer 2011 and 2012.

Louise has now progressed on to study Childhood Studies at Sheffield Hallam University.  Louise will always strive to achieve her full potential, and with the huge potential we have glimpsed so far, Louise is set to go far.

Pride of Tameside recognition is hugely appropriate in highlighting and commending Louise’s strength of character, resilience and ‘go for it’ approach to life.

Taslima Rafique

Winner of the Young Person’s Community Engagement Award

Youth Ambassador for Tameside (Alex Williams Award)

Taslima has made an unquestionably outstanding contribution to the local community.  She has participated in, and often led, various projects within Hyde. 

Beginning with a research project in 1999, focusing upon young people and the reasons that they may not access youth services, Taslima, with others, compiled a report and a DVD aiming to encourage young people to use these services.  A presentation was given to local councillors and members of the local community.  In 2012, Taslima took a lead role in ‘Time for Change in the Park’, consulting with the public to see what people wished to see changed.  The findings; that people wanted a multi-use games area, were put into policy and implemented.

In 2011, Taslima took part in the ‘Youth in Action: Peer Mentoring Project’ where she learned about issues surrounding identity, racism and power.  After her training, Taslima went into local primary schools to deliver a presentation and explore these issues with young children; the aim being to promote positivity, integration and community cohesion.

In 2012, Taslima undertook a Fire Ambassadors’ course run by Greater Manchester Fire Service.  She is now qualified to give talks to others in the community about fire safety. Taslima is putting this to particularly good use to work with women who feel more comfortable in the presence of another Muslim female.

In 2011 Taslima achieved Level 2 Youth Work qualification. She continues to undertake a great deal of voluntary work, and now combines this with a paid role for Hyde Community Action, involving environmental ‘clean-up’ activities, hosting events, promoting and raising the profile of the area.

Taslima runs a summer holiday youth group for children aged 8-12 years.  Through sport, art and drama the group helps to channel the children’s positive energy and ultimately promote community cohesion.

Taslima combines all the above with full time, advanced level study (phew!) at which she is excelling.  Taslima’s German teacher Guy Bennett commented that he “could not be prouder of the work she does which is an inspiration to her peers.”

The talent, time and energy that Taslima invests in helping her local community is wholly deserving of recognition.

Congratulations to all of the students who were nominated, your hard-work, dedication and positive attitudes will see you go far!