Spark! Partnership Awards 2016 – the winners

The 30th  annual awards were presented on Thursday 24 November 2016 at the Lampton Conference Centre, Civic Centre, Hounslow. 

The evening started with some entertainment from Harsh Makwana and Elrad Stoiber of St Marks School. We also heard from Karmesh Sharma (Cranford Community College) about his week of work experience at GSK, and Tasneem Rostom (Chiswick School) recreated her TEDxYouth@Hounslow talk.


Primary (Malcolm Gibbins Cup)Recognising primary schools’ and community partners’ excellence in work related learning projects, sponsored by the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce.

Winner: The Heathrow Primary School Coding Challenge, presented to Poorvi Patel, Robin Gissing and Kathleen Healy of Heathrow, by Stephen Fry of Hounslow Chamber of Commerce.


Nominated by Richard Charlesworth @ Grove Park Primary, this was one of 50 schools which took part in the programme. Outcomes for students included: learning basic coding in a fun and engaging competition, learning about the importance of team work and decision-making, and raising their awareness of careers at Heathrow.

As well as investing in programme development and delivery, Heathrow volunteers support each session, bringing the airport to life for the students. More than 160 volunteers were involved in September and October.


  • GSK reading programme with Green Dragon Primary School

Secondary (Jubilee Cup)Recognising secondary schools’ and community partners’ excellence in work-related learning projects, awarded by Ruth Cadbury, MP.


Winner: Future Focus Employability Programme at Chiswick Park, nominated by Chiswick school. Ruth Cadbury, MP, presented the award to Emma Mendonca and Helen Eyley  of Chiswick Park, with Michelle Rees and Elizabeth Lawrence of Chiswick School.

More than 600 hundred Chiswick School students have visited Chiswick Park during the past year to take part in the ‘Future Focus’ Employability Programme. Over 40 companies have been involved, andChiswick Park have been proudly supporting the local school since 2012.

Liz Lawrence, Head of Careers at Chiswick School said,  “The Careers Department is blessed to work with such a generous and enthusiastic team of professionals”

Work placement Company of the year Recognising the employer that has excelled in their support of high quality and fair work experience or internship opportunities.

Winner: Genesis Housing Association. Presented by Councillor Ajmer Grewal, Mayor of Hounslow to Sean Peyton and Misan Boyo of Genesis.



42 students attended the Genesis work experience week in October, from 6 different Camden schools. Around 30 different departments were involved at 6 different sites. With workshops from Barclays bank and Capita plus selfie competitions, this year’s Genesis Work Experience week exceeded all expectations. The impact on the students at the end of the week was clear: more knowledgeable, confident and with an insight into working life.”

Other nominees:

  • Cisco
  • Premier Inn, Bath Road

Apprentice Company of the year – sponsored by Octink

Winner: The London Borough of Hounslow. Presented to Samina Hussain Will Tyler of Octink.


After many years of Hounslow Council pushing local companies to increase their apprenticeship intake the council now have a successful apprenticeship programme of their own. Hounslow are leading by example and showing the way for other companies and local bodies. There is a regular intake with a range of different focuses. Will Berryman of Rivers Academy says that Sally George and the team have done a great job in making this happen.

Other nominees:

  • Cisco, Nominated by Louise Mills
  • Reach Academy

Volunteer of the yearRecognising the industry volunteer (or team) that has “gone the extra mile” in supporting education-business partnership over the past year.

Winner: Thierry Ackermann.  Presented by Deborah Guinea of GSK.


Thierry joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1994. Thierry is currently enjoying a sabbatical, while consulting in IT Management.

Since 2014, Thierry has volunteered with us across multiple events, and really understands the variety and importance of the work we do. In his first year of working with us, he volunteered with us on 6 different occasions, including: Careers days, Mock Interviews, Speed Networking and also mentoring. Incredibly supportive of the Spark! cause, Thierry is well liked by students and is always willing to help.

Other nominees:

  • Georgia Thomson, GSK
  • Ujwall Chaudhary, Premier Inn
  • Matthew Cox, Headmasters

Teacher of the yearRecognising the teacher that has “gone the extra mile” in supporting education-business partnership over the past year.

Winner: Chris Couch of The Heathland School. Presented by 2015 winner John Cadogan of Logic Studio School.


Head Teacher of The Heathland School, Mr Pattar, says “Since joining The Heathland School Chris has demonstrated exceptional initiative. He has forged new links with employers for the benefit of our pupils. His liaison with British Airways is one of the numerous examples of his initiative. “

Work Experience Student of the Year – Recognising the young person that has excelled in their work experience placement.

Joint Winners: Olamide Omisore of Kingston College and Ozge Parin of Skinners Academy. Presented by Councillor Steve Curran, Leaders of Hounslow council.


Olamide originally had a mock interview with BA, but his passion and interest was so impressive that they offered him a work experience placement.

BA say he was very polite and well mannered and was a pleasure to host for the week and has been very proactive after his placement.

Ozge was very keen, enthusiastic and hardworking with a “Can do” approach to all that was asked of her. She completed all tasks and even went the extra mile to do additional tasks. She is clearly a very able and conscientious person who will go far in the world of work.

Other nominees:

Genesis Housing Association Nominations:

  • Ubah Ahmed from Haverstock School
  • Jessica Ablampah of Kingsbury High School
  • Ozge of Skinners Academy

British Airways Nominations:

  • Erin of Thamesmead School
  • Juliette Smith of Charters School
  • Benjamin Landon of Salesian School

Zak Williams of Lampton School, nominated by Cancer Research, Hounslow

Apprentice of the yearRecognising the young person that has excelled in grasping the opportunity that an Apprenticeship has offered, sponsored by Heathrow.

Winner: Gurpreet Lotay at the London Borough of Hounslow. Presented by Poorvi Patel of Heathrow.  


Gurpreet’s manager says her ‘eagerness to learn new skills and gain key experience’ meant she enthusiastically takes on responsibilities to support her team.

She is a ‘very quick learner’ and has far surpassed the expectations of her team and senior managers. She injects her unique energy and enthusiasm into the council on a daily basis and is described as a ‘rising star’.

Other nominees:

Nominated by the London Borough of Hounslow:

  • Deborah Barret
  • Manmeet Sangha
  • Abu Dukale
  • Ralston Pereira
  • Gurpreet Lotay
  • Amardeep Sidhu
  • Jack Eastwood
  • Calum Matthews
  • Luke Mountain

And Gagandeep Kaur, nominated by West Thames College.

Alan Bosson Trophy – celebrating STEM work in schools. Sponsored by Thames Water.

Winner: HAWK – STEM Innovation project at Rivers Academy. Presented to James Pomeroy of Hawk RCM, by Liz Banks of Thames Water.


Hawk is a local technology firm who have really committed to helping Rivers Academy and Space Studio West London with their ‘Aspirations Employability Programme‘.

Students had to create a way of growing food in an incubator without soil. Hawk have committed weekly staff volunteers and have purchased all required materials for the students to build their incubator food farms, trying to solve the problem of food shortages across the world.

Other Nominees:

  • British Horseracing Education & Standards Trust nominated by Will Berryman at Rivers Academy



Keynote Speaker, Liliana Heidinger of Dell EMC


Young volunteers from Chiswick School, Logic Studio School and Rivers Academy.

From all at Spark! we look forward to celebrating again with you in 2017!