CAVA student wins Keith Fletcher Award for ‘Outstanding Commitment to Study’

CAVA is delighted to announce that Shelley Jackson, a former CAVA Access to HE Diploma (Health Science Professions) student at Craven College, has been named winner of the national Keith Fletcher Award for ‘Outstanding Commitment to Study’. Just over two years ago Shelley underwent life-changing surgery. The physical and emotional impact of the surgery left Shelley with extremely low self-esteem and worried her personal and working life would forever be limited. During her studies, Shelley was admitted to hospital with a medical emergency and suffered significant amounts of prolonged pain. However, her commitment to the Access to HE (Health Science Professions) was unwavering. She remained in continual contact with her tutors whilst in hospital finished her Diploma with a full distinction profile. Shelley is now studying midwifery at the University of Bradford.

Shelley receiving the CAVA award with CAVA Acting Chair Tom Levinson

Shelley received a CAVA Award at the CAVA conference in December 2017.

Many congratulations to Shelley and we wish her every success in her degree studies. We look forward to joining her, and all the winners, at the Houses of Parliament for the prize giving. This will be an opportunity to celebrate the achievement of all learners, and to recognise the amazing journey of Access to HE students like Shelly throughout the country.

The 11 Access Validating Agencies (AVAs) across England and Wales joined together to sponsor and support this event for the sixth year running, in memory of a much-loved colleague, Keith Fletcher, who worked tirelessly promoting Access to HE throughout his career.

Invitations to nominate exceptional learners in 2017-18 will be sent out to colleges soon.

Other CAVA award winners at the CAVA conference in December 2017

CAVA Winner – Outstanding Academic Achievement

Geoff Edwards, Cambridge Regional College, Access to HE Diploma (Humanities and Social Science)

A self-acknowledged ‘working class lad from Liverpool’, Geoff left school at a young age finding his surroundings and peers alien to him. Geoff’s life, after leaving education, involved manual work and a long period of homelessness. Geoff did not know where education would take him when he came to Cambridge Regional College in 2015, having very much enjoyed, and performed extremely well on the college’s pre-Access course, he decided that an Access to HE Diploma in Humanities and Social Sciences was the next step. After achieving 45 credits at distinction, Geoff applied and was accepted to study English Literature at Hughes Hall, Cambridge.


CAVA Runner-up – – Outstanding Academic Achievement

Lisa Woodward, Vision West Nottinghamshire College, Access to HE Diploma (Social Science)

Lisa topped her class academically achieving 10 distinctions and 2 merits on her Access to HE (Social Science) Diploma. This fantastic success was achieved whilst having to juggle poor personal mental health, a husband regularly in hospital, care of her three children and financial difficulties. Her time at the college was marked also by her unconditional willingness to offer support to her peers. She became not only a student representative but formed a peer mentoring scheme, the research of which has been forwarded to the college and university. Lisa progressed to Derby University to study a degree in Criminal Justice with Multi-agency.


CAVA runner-up – Outstanding Commitment to Study

Charlene Townsend, Tresham College, Access to HE (Humanities) Charlene left school aged 16 with very little in the way of formal education. She displayed outstanding commitment to study despite difficult and challenging personal circumstances.  During the final year of her Access to HE (Humanities) Diploma Charlene became pregnant and gave birth to her Son a month before completing the course. Charlene had to adjust to life as a first time mother, with a newborn son and academic studies, knowing she was faced with impending homelessness. With all these potential barriers to success, Charlene was able to complete her Diploma and has progressed onto Northampton University to study BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies.