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ARU alumni come together to celebrate their success

Published: 12 April 2024 at 12:00

Alumni awards

Ceremony marks the achievements of some of Anglia Ruskin’s most notable graduates

The incredible achievements of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) graduates were celebrated at an annual awards ceremony last night.
ARU’s Chelmsford campus hosted the Vice Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumni Awards to mark the success of graduates who have achieved excellence in their respective fields or have made a significant contribution to society.
Nominations were received from members of the public, family and friends of alumni, and 42 former students were named as finalists across seven categories, which include culture, entrepreneurship and sustainability. The winners on the night were:
  Alumni Contribution to Culture Winner: Catherine Rowe (BA Illustration 2013). Catherine is an illustrator whose products are sold internationally and found in some of the biggest names in retail including Liberty, Selfridges, Anthropologie and TK Maxx. Catherine is also dedicated to promoting up and coming artists and supporting the arts in her local community, and recently organised a Maker’s Market in Chichester to showcase the work of 15 local artists.
Highly Commended: Charlotte Claughton.

  Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Winner: Chris Clayton (BA European Business Economics 1998). Chris is co-founder and Group CEO of Beaumont Group, which since its establishment in 2010 has grown to a leadership development company of more than 100 employees spanning Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Chris has ensured the firm differentiates itself through its strong values of being authentic, entrepreneurial and committed to diversity and inclusion.
Highly Commended: Ventakesh Krishna Murthy, Jemima Wilcox.

  Alumni Public Service Winner: Helen Paisley (Cert HE Charity and Social Enterprise Management 2015). Helen is the CEO of Community Dental Services CIC, a social enterprise that began from a single contact in Bedfordshire and has expanded to much of the Midlands and East of England. Helen takes every opportunity to demonstrate social enterprise in action to commissioners, providing innovative solutions for communities’ oral health needs. Quality is central to her leadership, with patient satisfaction at 99%.
Highly Commended: Joel Nelson.

•  Alumni Rising Star Winner: Daniel Williams (MSc Consumer Psychology 2021). As Marketing Campaigns Manager for Norwich City Football Club, Daniel was lead creator of the club’s mental health campaign in 2023. The short video, titled ‘You are Not Alone’ features two fans who sit next to each other during games, and encourages supporters to check on loved ones. It has been viewed more than 142 million times across 150 countries, helping to raise mental health awareness and money for The Samaritans.
Highly Commended: Sreeraj Kollarukandy.

  Alumni Sustainability Champion Winner: Gachelle Gilkes Edwards (Masters of Business Administration 2022). A passionate sustainability champion in Trinidad and Tobago, Gachelle spearheaded the country’s first recycling project, iCARE, which won the 2019 IDB Service Excellence Award. Gachelle also delivers youth agriculture/aquaculture training programmes aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Highly Commended: Chloe Fiddy.

  Alumni Voluntary Service Winner: Hawa D Sesay (MA Social Work 2008). Growing up in Sierra Leone, Hawa survived female genital mutilation (FGM) aged 13. After moving to the UK, Hawa set up The Hawa Trust in 2012 to support women and girls who have experienced FGM to access care and education around the subject, while giving them dignity following abuse. She now works with schools, the London Metropolitan Police and charities, and has played an active role in participating in Government initiatives regarding FGM.
Highly Commended: Matthew Campbell.

•  Lifetime Achievement Winner: Colonel Tim Symonds OBE. During 25 years of military service, Colonel Symonds has undertaken a range of roles, which have involved training, developing and motivating multi-discipline teams across the globe. His operational deployments included peacekeeping in Macedonia and crucial infrastructure projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Deputy Divisional Chief of Staff, he was responsible for shaping organisational culture and fostering collaboration across an organisation of more than 30,000 personnel.
Professor Roderick Watkins, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

“We are proud to have played a part in the journey of these outstanding individuals. An ARU student’s journey with us does not end at graduation. All our graduates remain a vital part of our community, and it is always a pleasure to welcome them back and celebrate their continued success.”