At the University of Bolton’s first Bolton Award Celebratory Event, 30 students celebrated their success stories.
The Bolton Award is a new employability and enterprise programme for students at the University of Bolton, launched in 2015. It has been designed to enable students to benefit from work experience, skills development, and a range of enrichment activities that include volunteering.
The career skills programme, developed by the University’s Employability team is supported by Decathlon Bolton and championed by Bolton Students’ Union.
Intended to be an achievement that is independent from academic studies, The Bolton Award is an extra-curricular programme, which requires a minimum commitment of 35 hours. It is free and can be completed at a pace that is convenient for each student, plus full support is available.
Three students were presented with special awards for exceptional success. They included: Zainab Hassan, Jenny Costello, and Leah McIntosh who were presented with Bolton Award: Platinum trophies. Decathlon prizes went to Matthew Hadfield, Nyasha Foyo and Tawanda Anyani.
Hazel Matundu (pictured below), 26, is a third-year Psychology student whose work experience has included working with Bolton mental health organisation MhIST. ‘The Bolton Award has been an opportunity which has motivated me to be proactive in my career planning,’ said Hazel. ‘It has opened doors and enables us to show our capability of being effective in the workplace.’
Matthew Hadfield (pictured below), 18, is a first-year studying Sports Development and Coaching. A wheelchair user with hereditary spastic paraplegia, Matthew is focused on a career in disability sports in the community and schools. Keen on sports from an early age, Matthew plays wheelchair basketball and tennis and has been volunteering with Bolton Lads and Girls Club as well as Link4Life Disability. ‘I wanted to do The Bolton Award in my first year while I had more time and I’ve found it’s really helped with things like my communication skills and confidence,’ he said.
Awards were presented by Assistant Vice Chancellor, Bill Webster, who said: ‘We know how tough the jobs market is just now. We are trying our hardest to help you and the skills you have developed as part of the award should help you a long way – you deserve to realise your ambitions and we wish you all the very best.’
Head of Careers and Employability, Julie Bateman, added: ‘The Bolton Award has been popular beyond all our expectations. When we began The Bolton Award our ambition was to have 50 students on the programme. We currently have 400 and by the end of this year we expect more than 100 to have completed their Bolton Award.’
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