Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m passionate about widening participation in Higher Education, and supporting young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in general. My love for this field of work grew when working in a comprehensive school in London, which I sadly had to leave so as to focus on my PhD studies at Royal Holloway. After completing my doctorate (in History), I decided to go back to working with schools, and the Higher Education Outreach Network Officer role at Royal Holloway was the perfect opportunity.
Can you tell us more about your role as Higher Education Outreach Network Officer within our Schools team?
The Higher Education Outreach Network is part of the Uni Connect programme, a consortia of universities, colleges and other partners that offer activities, advice and information on the benefits and realities of going to university or college. I work with a select group of target schools and colleges in Surrey, and often collaborate with the Schools team. In particular, I am working closely with the new Widening Access Team to continue to build on my existing work with local schools.
Can you tell us a bit more about the Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant’s Awards Scheme and the nominations you made?
The HM Lord-Lieutenancy Award is designed to recognise and celebrate exceptional service to the local community by an individual. It is particularly well-suited to younger people, whose services might not reach the level to qualify them for a national honour. The two boys who won the awards, Kian and Max, were nominated for their contributions to their communities during the Covid-19 pandemic while studying at Collingwood College, a school with whom I’ve built a strong relationship. Kian, a keen engineering student, used 3D printers to create PPE for local businesses, NHS centres, and nursing homes. Max, now at Farnborough Sixth Form and pursuing a career in Medicine, used his part-time paper round to form a network of residents to whom he gave his support – from shopping on their behalf to topping up electricity meters. Both students were presented with their awards by Royal Holloway’s Principal in front of their families and staff at Collingwood.
What do you enjoy most about working at Royal Holloway?
The staff. I have fantastic colleagues in both the Professional Services and Academic Schools. Such individuals are passionate about Higher Education and the importance of it being accessible for all.
How do you normally like to spend your time outside of work?
During lockdown I applied for a plot in a local allotment and was granted one in April 2021. So I’ve been mainly been working on that. I’m particularly proud of building a glass greenhouse, and it’s been very rewarding work.