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Issue 5

Leeds Met Alumnus receives Teacher of the Year Award


News in a Flash Leeds Nurse put to rest after 30 years Helen Jones, who died in 1979, has finally been laid to rest on Ilkley Moor with only a 17 minute ceremony to mark her passing. Her father, former Policeman Ron Smith, 83, spent much of the past three decades on an obsessive quest to prove that his daughter’s death was not the result of an accident, as the Saudi authorities maintained, but of foul play. Miss Smith’s inquest was held in Leeds in 1982, but the jury returned an open verdict. Her father finally agreed to release her body after he was contacted earlier this year by his former wife, Jeryl Sheehy, 72, who pleaded with him to allow the funeral to be held before they both died.

Teenagers arrested over firework death

Sarah Hazen Reporter Ed Vickerman, a graduate of Hospitality Business Management from Leeds Met in 2005, has been awarded the UK’s Outstanding New Teacher of the Year award at the 2009 Teaching Awards ceremony in London. Vickerman, currently Head of Business at The Freeston Business and Enterprise College in West Yorkshire, battled with dyslexia throughout his studies, being warned his learning disability would interfere with his dream of becoming a teacher- but little did they know. “I was told I could never be a teacher,” Vickerman said, “so this award is for everyone like me who is

dyslexic but who wants to teach.” Vickerman started his career in the hotel industry where he learned ways of overcoming the obstacles of his dyslexia, and importantly, utilizing it as a platform for creativity. It was this realization that made Vickerman turn his focus away from his successful career and back to his former dream despite the criticism. “It had to be teaching,” Vickerman said. “I’d proved to myself that I could do a job, one I love – to the extent that on some days off I still go back and work a customer care shift. But I wanted to get back into schools. I’d had outstanding teachers who helped me, but others who didn’t. So

that was where the work was to be done.” Defying his critics, Vickerman overcame the challenges and completed his teaching qualifications despite being rejected by two teaching training courses prior. Now in his own classroom, Vickerman doesn’t rely on a white board or solely on text books to teach, but instead thinks laterally about his methods including a school trip to New York and a ‘Dragon’s Den’ approach to learning business skills. Gill Matcalfe, Headteacher, commented on Vickermans unique teaching style saying, “Anyone who’s always knocking on my door with new ideas is very wel-

come. Ed is a whirlwind. He is brilliant. But he is also constantly supportive of all staff. He works across departments, welcomes others’ ideas and involves everyone.” It is clear from his success, Vickerman is passionate about finding ways to include all pupils, something he wasn’t always privy to in his own studies because of his dyslexia. Clutching the award in his hand at the ceremony, Vickerman thanked everyone who supported him and also sent out an inspirational message to all saying, “I was told I could never be a teacher. Now let this be a lesson to anybody that you can do whatever you want despite any difficulty.”

Yorshire Young Achiever; One of Our Own

Ruth Jones Reporter

Leeds Met graduate Lottie Taylor is celebrating after her volunteering efforts were rewarded with a prestigious Yorkshire Young Achievers Award. The 22-year-old from Huddersfield, who studied Primary Education, was recognised in the Unsung Hero category for her work setting up and running after-school clubs in two local schools staffed by fellow student volunteers. The Yorkshire Young Achiever Awards were founded in 1993 to rec-

ognise achievement and raise money for charity Action for Children. Previous winners have included high-flying Yorkshire youngsters like Olympic gold medallist Andrew Triggs Hodge, Coronation Street actor Jack P Shepard and Yorkshireborn entrepreneur Adam Hildreth. Miss Taylor spent more than 600 hours as a Community Action @ Leeds Met (CALM) volunteer with Leeds Met Students' Union but it was only in her final year that she took on the daunting task of setting up and running

her own project. Doing all the work for the project; liaising with the schools, head teachers and education authority, planning the content of weekly sessions, coordinating the volunteers, gathering resources, evaluating the project and rewarding her volunteers. On winning the award Lottie said: "At first I was shocked and then I was just really pleased. I definitely did not think I was going to win. I'm also really pleased that CALM and volunteering at Leeds Met has received recognition.

I hope it all continues." Miss Taylor paid tribute to the 35 volunteers, and the hard work and cooperation of staff in the Union and University, in particular Jenine Poyser, the Union's volunteer coordinator. Sue Loye, head teacher at St Chad's Church of England Primary School, was particularly grateful for Miss Taylor's efforts over the year, saying: "Without Lottie, the afterschool care for our pupils just wouldn't be able to take place."

Three have been arrested for manslaughter after the death of a mother-of-nine, which was caused by a firework being set off through her letterbox. Mary Fox, 59, died on Bonfire Night after helping her son escape from an upstairs window, but was overcome by the fire before help arrived. Police used facebook to find clues to the case – a now common circumstance in cases such as this. Ms Fox’s children have paid tribute to their “devoted” mother and praised firefighters for their efforts to save her: “We, the sons and daughters of Mary, would like to thank everyone for their kind words at this difficult time.”

Leeds Met Launch Virtual Maths Website A new learning resource has been launched by the School of the Built Environment in partnership with the West Yorkshire Lifelong Learning Network. The virtualmaths website is a free resource that encourages innovative teaching and learning of mathematics. Using links to real life problems, the animation and graphics provide a new perspective on maths. The website,, was launched at an event held at the Rose Bowl, by the University’s School of the Built Environment in partnership with the West Yorkshire Lifelong Learning Network.

Leeds hospitals axe 700 jobs Hospitals in Leeds are set to shed 700 jobs this financial year. Already staff numbers have been cut by 277, mainly frontline medics and clerical workers. Now hospital bosses face having to cut another 400 posts – while treating more patients to bring in millions of pounds in urgently needed income. If all 700 jobs disappear, the 14,500-strong workforce at the city’s hospitals will have been cut by 5 per cent in 12 months. Concerns about the effect on services for patients were raised at a meeting of hospital directors, but trust chairman Mike Collier said: “We just cannot afford a deterioration in the safety and quality of care that we provide.”

Headingley Italian Restaurant tops Ramsay’s Menu Salvo’s Italian Restaurant & Salumeria in Headingley is the Italian restaurant competing in Gordon Ramsey’s F word search for Britain’s Best Local Restaurant. Gip Dammone, owner of the restaurant said: “To get to the best local Italian is a massive achievement. I was quite surprised.” Salvo’s were competing against the Bristol-based restaurant Prosecco. “It was a little bit nerve wracking,” says Gip. “We were called from the hotel at 8.30am, and we didn’t get back until 11.30pm. And we had to cook for 50 people!” We’ll bet getting a table at one Leeds’ best Italian restaurants has just got a whole lot tougher.


Ruth Jones Reporter Leeds Met Launch Virtual Maths Website Teenagers arrested over firework death Leeds hospitals axe 700 jobs Leeds Nurse p...