A host of achievements were celebrated last night with 40 young people from across Bromley being presented with prizes at a glittering awards ceremony.
The award winners have all been students at either Bromley Trust Academy (BTA) or Bromley Beacon Academy (BBA). Both schools are part of London South East Academies Trust, providing support and teaching for children between the ages of 5-18, who require an alternative to mainstream education.
Taking place at London South East Colleges’ Bromley Campus, awards were given to students to recognise a number of achievements including; behaviour, progress, attendance, resilience, sports and citizenship.
Special guest, former footballer Bradley Pritchard and now CEO of social enterprise ‘The Sporting Way’, presented the awards. He also talked to the winners and their families about his own journey to success and the challenges he faced.
Speaking to guests, Bradley said:“I am delighted to be here and congratulate everyone collecting an award this evening. I arrived in England at the age of 9 from Zimbabwe. It wasn’t easy and perhaps like many of you I had to fight against people’s negative perceptions and the low expectations of my capabilities.
“I dealt with this by surrounding myself with people who gave me the confidence to achieve my dreams and was lucky enough, through sheer hard work and determination, to become a professional footballer.
"What I wouldn’t accept is someone stopping me from doing something I believe in - and neither should you. Embrace who you are and take pride in proving people wrong. The work you put in will not be wasted. I wish you all the very best of luck in the future.”
CEO of London South East Academies Trust and London South East Colleges, Sam Parrett OBE, added: “Tonight’s award winners have made some amazing achievements throughout the last year. We are so proud of their hard work and success.
“It’s not been an easy road for many of these young people, but with the right academic and emotional support, they have proved that anything is possible.
“I am hugely grateful to our Executive Head teacher Neil Miller and his fantastic team, who work so tirelessly to support their students. I congratulate all the winners tonight and thank them and their families for being here tonight.
“If your mind is focused, and your heart is full of the right kind of stuff, you'll succeed and triumph over adversity. Everyone here tonight is a shining example of this.”
Winners arrived to collect their awards supported by families, guardians and teachers.
Kade (9) from Petts Wood was awarded the Head Boy prize. He said: “I won this award for my good attitude and behaviour when I was at BTA Midfield. I really enjoyed my time there, especially all the trips we went on. My advice to anyone going to this school would be to not think of it as a bad place, because it’s really positive and everyone is there to help you.”
Melika (15) from Penge attends BTA Hayes. Picking up her award for citizenship, she said: “The time I have spent at this school has been so beneficial. The teachers invest so much time in you. I am hoping to go to university in the future to study psychology.”
Tareeq (15) studies at BTA Hayes. He received an award for excellent attendance. Excited by the prospect of taking to the stage and collecting his award, he said: “Being at this school has had a big impact on me. Everyone has been so supportive and helped me through lots of challenges. I am really pleased and proud to be here tonight.”
Serhan (16) left BTA last July and has now progressed on to studying a range of construction trades at college. He won the award for best GCSE outcomes with fellow student Maria Aziz as well as winning the overall CEO’s award for excellence. Trying hard not to be too overwhelmed by the occasion, Serham told us: “I feel so honoured to be here tonight; not just for me but for my school also. The teachers were just awesome. They care so much about the students and dedicate their time to making sure we all achieve as highly as we can. Everything about this school is about providing motivation and positivity. Thank you so much.”
Closing the event, Executive Head teacher Neil Miller thanked Bradley for his inspirational words - along with staff, students and their families for all their support. He said: “I am incredibly proud of all our students and their many achievements. Recognising and celebrating this success is so important and I hope everyone feels inspired to continue with the hard work.”