This time last week we were heading down the A1 to the City & Guilds Lion Awards 2016, scheduled to coincide with the first Festival of Skills. The Lion Awards are a celebration of the achievements of all C&G Medal for Excellence winners, and an opportunity to reward exceptional learners, tutors and centres from the UK and overseas. The event was held in Capel Manor College, a further education college at Bulls Cross, Enfield. The college grounds, including a wonderful old walled garden, are open to the public for most of the year.
The awards were well attended, with Medal winners from as far afield as New Zealand, Dubai, South Africa and Sri Lanka. We spent the evening with Sue Cox, from Link2Create, and her lovely husband Mick. We also had the pleasure to meet Jenny Golton and Danielle Anderton from one of Link2Create’s Sugarcraft centres in Wakefield – Danielle was presented with her Medal by Sue in the walled garden. Entertainment was provided by circus performers outside the drinks marquee, where floristry tutors from Capel Manor College made (or taught guests to make) beautiful rose buttonholes and corsages, and by Bashiyra ‘The Voice’, who sang for us. The awards were presented by Kirstie Donnelly, Managing Director of C&G UK, and Louise Minchin from BBC Breakfast.
It was a lovely evening – we didn’t come home with a Lion Award, but when Kirstie Donnelly reminded the assembled company that from a pool of ca. 2,000,000 C&G students last year only 79 Medals For Excellence had been awarded, we all felt like winners!