Monday, 21 May 2007

One of my colleagues Zoë Stead, who is the Extended Schools Development Officer based at St Bartholomew's C of E Primary School sent me this to share with you...

"Dear Chris
I am a regular reader of your blog, and would like to bring a story about one of the parents in Leeds to your attention. Mandy Craven has won not only a Community Champions award for the local Leeds Adult Learners' Week awards, but also a regional ALW award for Yorkshire and Humberside awarded by NIACE. On Friday she went with her family to have an award presented to her in Scarborough, and tomorrow she is being presented with her local Community Champions award at the Town Hall. Mandy is a return to learn-er who went back into learning at the local Park Lane College in Armley and worked her way through GCSEs, a mature Access Course and finally a 2:1 degree in dietetics at LMU. During her University course her small daughter was diagnosed as autistic, and despite this huge disruption Mandy still completed her work placement and the full degree. Her work for other parents of autistic children is tireless, and she is also massively active in her local community - having set up her own independent parents' group (APPLE - Armley Primary Parents Learning and Enjoyment) and helping out with the Armley Fun Day, working for her school as a school governor and much much more. I have attached a small case study which summarises some of Mandy's work.
I think Mandy demonstrates that committed individuals CAN change things - her work with the APPLE group is tireless and she is always ahead of me in arranging activities, courses and events and widening her group to be all inclusive (she is arranging for interpreters so that Polish mums in the area can join in some of the courses).
Mandy is very modest and never seeks publicity for her work, but I thought that you would like to hear how one parent is helping provide services for parents and children.

Thanks Zoe... there are some incredible people about and it's true that thoughtful, committed, passionate people change the world... indeed they are the only people who do! Has anyone else got a story to share about someone who is making a real difference here in Leeds?

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