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New College Head of Year Crowned at BBC Radio Leicester’s Make a Difference Awards

New College Head of Year Crowned at BBC Radio Leicester’s Make a Difference Awards

Bernie Walker, Head of Year at New College Leicester, has been announced as the winner in BBC Radio Leicester’s ‘Key Worker’ category

Nominated by colleagues, students and parents, the recognition comes as a result of Bernie’s tireless work during the pandemic. Providing support to students and their families during challenging times, Bernie went above and beyond her call of duty to help others.

Keen to ensure students did not miss out on their education during lockdown, Bernie – an unsung hero of the education sector – took to the road to deliver work packs to those who needed them, at the same time providing a friendly face to the school’s families that were stuck in isolation.

But missed education was not the only fire she was fighting; 55% of New College’s students are entitled to free school meals, so when the Government were unable to fulfil their free school meal voucher scheme, there was great concern for the families that relied on this support. Taking it upon herself to lessen the burden, Bernie developed a local voucher scheme which ensured that New College families could access nutritional food while the school was closed.

She was also at the forefront of on-site Covid testing, busy organising and managing the students on to site for their test and then safely off again to await their results.

Speaking on the accolade, Jane Brown, Principal at New College, said:

“Bernie is already a local hero in that she lives locally and is extremely community minded. Always putting other people first, Bernie has New College Leicester and New Parks running through her veins.

“During the pandemic, she was a constant force for good and consistently went out of her way to help. No matter what she was asked to do, or took it upon herself to do, she always did it with a smile on her face – because the children come first.”

Bernie Walker said:

“I feel truly honoured to have won this award. My only aim is to help people within the New College community, and being thanked in this way is something I will remember forever. Thank you to everybody who took the time to nominate me and to those who make the work I do even more enjoyable.”

BBC Radio Leicester’s Make a Difference Awards celebrate people who go above and beyond to make a difference in their local community. A chance to say ‘thank you’ and show recognition and appreciation for people who love to make life better for others, local people are celebrated across eight key categories with winners selected by a panel of judges. Awards given in each category across all local BBC radio stations. 


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