Theresa has devoted huge amount of time and effort to Huaxia Chinese School since she became the Head Teacher in 2004. The School offers Mandarin Chinese language education to children and adults in Greater Manchester. Theresa started to work for the School when it was undergoing some crisis and had many issues; there was only £29 left in the School’s account and parents were not adequately engaged in school affairs.
She has shown strong leadership skills and inspired many others to work together for the School. In the past 7 years Theresa spent almost all her term-time Sundays and many hours in the evenings for the School. Under her leadership the School has overcome management and financial difficulties, significantly enhanced the parent engagement, participated in many local cultural events and contributed to the local communities. She has introduced many innovative activities into children’s school life at Huaxia, so their Chinese learning is more interesting, including an annual school show and a school magazine showing the children’s work, which encourages the children in their learning.
The number of pupils studying at the School has increased from around 70 in 2004 to nearly 300 this year and the School is now one of the largest in the UK, has won many awards and plays a very active role in the local community. It was one of the first supplementary schools awarded the quality standard certificate by the Manchester City Council, and was one of the first UK Chinese Schools to be awarded the modelling school status by the Chinese State Council’s Overseas Affairs Office. Children at Huaxia Chinese School not only learn Chinese, but gain knowledge and experience on Chinese culture and build up their confidence and self-esteem.
Carly is the project coordinator for the Upendo Children’s Home, a project she set up with the aim of building a children’s home in Buswelu village in the Northern City of Mwanza, Tanzania for children who have been orphaned due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Carly was instrumental in the plans for the building, overseeing volunteer placements and raising the large sums of money that are needed for the house to be built.
Carly provides guidance towards to work of the children's careers; supports the volunteers and manages the construction of the home in Tanzania. The seven children in the care of orphanage have been taken away from a life on the street, and been provided with a loving home and an education. The positive impact on their lives is immeasurable.
Once the home is completed, this opportunity will be extended to a further 41 children. The staff that work with the home have been provided with a stable source of income, fair working hours and accommodation.
Carly also volunteers with the Stop Aids Society. She arranged for students to be trained about sexual health, so that they can go to nightclubs and talk to those who may be at risk in an environment that will be comfortable for them. She also volunteers for Student Action.
Ann was a lecturer in Nursing at the University of Manchester until 2006 when she was retired on health grounds with Early Onset Alzheimer's disorder.
Ann uses her teaching expertise to volunteer as a patient educator for the Alzheimer's Society, travelling across the UK to speak voluntarily at conferences, training days and for the media. Much of her presentation work addresses how to live with this disease when it hits you, a friend or a relative at such an early age. Ann brings confidence to her audience that there are activities that can still be enjoyed together as friends and family, that there are ways of living life rather than hiding away.
She first started speaking locally; gradually building up confidence to speak to National groups and to give interviews to the BBC and the press, and in March 2010 was invited to the House of Commons to represent sufferers at the launch of the National Dementia campaign. This has taken her straight to the centre of decision making. She now appears regularly on local TV and national radio, and has been involved in the production of a series of articles for professionals and carers.
We understand she is now progressing into mid stage and will experience further memory loss and increasing physical disorder. She knows all this, and yet still lives life to the full and encourages others to do so too.