Teacher of the Year 2017 Finalist – Caroline Vernon

Caroline Vernon has been put through to the final three for the dedication she shows to her school its children and hte wider community in her role as HeadTeacher at Victoria Academy in Barrow.

Caroline is the Headteacher at Victoria Junior School, Barrow.  The school has recently transitioned into an academy under the guidance of Caroline, who is well loved by her pupils and has a strong team working beside her to to help her achieve her goals and ambitions for the school and the surrounding community.

Caroline has helped set up many activities that her pupils take part in including The Healthy living and lifestyle project for Barrow which was about helping young children to understand the importance of eating healthy and looking after themselves and the Step Up To Serve  programme which sees many of hte school pupils being accepted as part of the #iwill programme, where they travel to London as part of a larger project.

lba17_teacher_caroline-vernon-resize-for-blogCaroline is always striving for her staff and pupils to be the best that they can be, always available to sit and chat about any problems or listen to new ideas.

As well as inside the school, Caroline is a big advocate for the community and the wider area becoming a leading figure nationally in student led research and critical skills. The work carried out at the school helped to shape the national curriculum for primary schools and has been done in partnership with the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).

A spokesperson for QCA describes how they were able to “… seize upon work … observed in Victoria Juniors (to) help develop work on a national scale.”   Similarly OFSTED hailed this work at the school as outstanding. Caroline has been working alongside other Barrow and Cumbrian head teachers during this work and has also begun to speak at national conferences describing the work around student led research and critical skills.

Caroline has led on the local Furness Learning Transition Project exploring issues around young people’s transition from primary to secondary school. Caroline has linked this work with Lancaster University.   Caroline’s work has attracted further national attention including interest from the Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education and the University of Wolverhampton.

In 2013. Caroline has visited the House of Commons to talk about her work as one of the founders of Furness Education and Skills Partnership, first in April 2013 to speak to members of the Education Select Committee and secondly in June 2013 to attend a launch of a new initiative about bridging the gap between education and industry.

One of the pupils at her school says “Mrs Vernon is friendly and listens to you, she is fair but firm and encourages you to be your best and to try different things, she treats everyone the same, and has helped me so much with my confidence and to achieve what I have and without her support I don’t think I could have done it.  I owe her a lot.”

TO VOTE FOR CAROLINE IN THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD  

TEXT  LBA11 to 82055

Peoples Choice Award Sponsor

With thanks to Blake Henderson Ltd for sponsoring this award

Each text vote costs your normal network text message charge.

One free vote may be made online by visiting www.lovebarrowawards.co.uk/peopleschoice

Voting closes at 6.00pm on the Sunday 19th February 2017. Any votes received after then may be charged but will not be counted.

The winner will be announced at The Love Barrow Awards on Friday 10th March 2017 and will be announced via Facebook and Twitter also.

 


Citizen of the Year 2017 Finalist – Matt Davies

Matt Davies, made it to the finals for being at the forefront of fundraising efforts in his wife, Jo’s memory for Jo’s Appeal.

Matt Davies is sports editor at the Evening Mail. His wife Jo, a much loved writer at the paper, died in August 2015 from cancer, aged just 38.  That would be enough to stop most people in their tracks but Matt decided to throw himself into the cause, continuing to fundraise in her memory.

lba17_citz_matt-davies_resize-for-blogSince then Matt has been at the forefront of fundraising efforts in Jo’s memory for Jo’s Appeal, raising money for St Mary’s Hospice, Furness General Hospital Oncology Unit and the Eve Appeal, a charity close to Jo’s heart.

About a year ago the fundraising total sat at around £8k and it was suggested it would top 10k by the end of the year. Matt was not convinced that would happen, but it did and it is now looking likely that by the end of 2016 it will reach £50k.

Matt has achieved this by rallying friends and colleagues to get involved in events from the Keswick 2 Barrow to quiz nights, leading walkers over Lakeland Fells and taking part in an array of sporting challenges himself.  He quite literally has gone the extra mile for his cause and in turn his community. He spends most weekends competing in triathlons and other sporting events most of us couldn’t even begin to tackle.

Matt would be the first to protest that this was not him, it was many, however without his drive and determination and courage his supporters do not believe much of it would have happened.

Matt has helped raise awareness for Jo and everything she stood for and all the while raising thousands for Jo’s charity.

His friend and supporters say “Jo would be the proudest wife in the world, and we are all so proud of him too, Thank you Matt for being the person we all aspire to be!”

 

TO VOTE FOR MATT IN THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD  

TEXT  LBA24 to 82055

Peoples Choice Award Sponsor

With thanks to Blake Henderson Ltd for sponsoring this award

Each text vote costs your normal network text message charge.

One free vote may be made online by visiting www.lovebarrowawards.co.uk/peopleschoice

Voting closes at 6.00pm on the Sunday 19th February 2017. Any votes received after then may be charged but will not be counted.

The winner will be announced at The Love Barrow Awards on Friday 10th March 2017 and will be announced via Facebook and Twitter also.

 


It’s that time of year again!

Wow! Where did that year go? Nomination time again!
Keep an eye on the website and our Facebook pages, nominations open Thursday 24th.


OFSTED success for Love Barrow finalist Vicky

Some great news in the local North West Evening Mail today, Love Barrow award Teacher of the Year finalist Vicky Bell has steered her nursery to an “Outstanding” rating from OFSTED.

Roose Nursery Manager, Vicky Bell

Manager Vicky Bell said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and delighted that the work we do has been recognised. Everything we do at Roose is for the children. In particular, we were really pleased that it’s been recognised that we work really well with parents and that our teaching is outstanding. We have got the new building coming as well, so it’s a double cause for celebration.”

For the full story, see the North West Evening Mail article here

We look forward to celebrating this success with Vicky when she attends the Love Barrow Awards presentation night where all the winners will be revealed in each category, but as we always say, everyone is a winner!


Nicky Gwynne

It is with great sadness that we have received the news that Nicky Gwynne has lost her battle with cancer. Nicky was nominated in the Courage category for the 2015 Love Barrow Awards. Our thoughts at this time are with her husband Al, her daughter Sky and everyone whose lives she touched.

Nicky Gwynne

The following was published in the North West Evening Mail on Saturday 20th December.

Brave Barrow mum loses cancer fight

A BRAVE mum nominated for a Love Barrow Award for her immense courage as she battled cancer has lost her fight for life.

Nicky Gwynne died peacefully in the early hours of Thursday with her husband, Al, by her side.

The 39-year-old described his wife as a true “inspiration” to all. He said she had never let the cancer change who she was and she had decided on day one she was going to fight the cancer all the way.

He said her greatest regret would have been that she didn’t make it to her precious daughter Sky’s 15th birthday on Tuesday and to Christmas Day.

Mrs Gwynne, 37, of Armon Close, Barrow, was diagnosed with the disease in June after spending weeks in intensive care at Furness General Hospital with renal failure.

Speaking in October she told how her life had been turned upside down by cervical cancer and she hoped to show determination to the children she helped to teach.

Despite suffering from debilitating sickness for the past few months, as well as having had a series of operations, the St George’s Primary School teaching assistant has been an inspiration to all who knew her.

Mr Gwynne said: “She really wanted to get through next week for Sky’s birthday and Christmas.

“We had decided to spend the day quietly just watching films and being together. Sky and I will still do that because that would be what she wanted.

“When she passed it was peaceful and she was talking to me and then 15 minutes later she had passed. She was just very weak. She didn’t want to give up.

“She coped really well throughout and was determined from day one that it wasn’t going to beat her.

“She was such a big inspiration and always cheery despite what she was going through.

“Even when she was told by the doctors she said she was determined to prove them wrong.

“I really want to thank the staff at Furness General Hospital on ward nine and ward one for everything they did. They were amazing, absolutely brilliant. They made her time a lot easier.

“The thing with Nicky is that from day one she was never going to give up, she was never going to let it change anything, she just carried on.

“Even the day before she passed she was helping Sky with her homework. She never let up. The kids at her school will also miss her.

“She’s not suffering now and now she’s not in pain anymore.”