12 Inspirational Women of Trafford College
Who runs the world? Discover some of the most inspiring and empowered women of Trafford College.
Each year we bear witness to the extraordinary accomplishments of our female leaders, teachers, classmates and friends. Our list aims to celebrate a handful of these women, featuring a number of students (current and former) as well as members of our staff team.
17-year-old photography student Emma Bristow won over judges at the 2019 Young Advocate Photography Competition with her shot of one of the back streets of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. As an aspiring freelance photographer Emma doesn’t let her disability influence her ability to take dynamic photographs, as she continues to capture the attention of art critics from her wheelchair.
One of Trafford College’s most celebrated Heating and Ventilation apprentices, Emma Hanson-Coates, has been recognised at the annual BESA North West Region Awards. Emma, who was crowned overall winner at Trafford College’s Apprenticeship Awards and runner up at Altrincham and Sale Chamber awards, was recognised for her dedication to her apprenticeship programme and her efforts in championing women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) industries.
18-year-old Frihah Farooq was home-schooled as she travelled different countries and lived in Pakistan before joining Trafford College. Enrolling onto the one-of-a-kind Full Time GCSE Programme allowed her to retake the relevant qualifications she needed to progress. After just one year, showing relentless determination to succeed, she gained the highest grade of 9 in Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Sociology followed by 8s in Physics and Citizenship.
Jane Keys, Director of Apprenticeships and Business Development at Trafford College was appointed Vice-President of the Stockport Chamber of Commerce in 2019. Jane’s manifesto was plucked from five candidates for the new role as she demonstrated a clear passion in her objectives, focused on bridging the skills gap between businesses and schools in Stockport and Greater Manchester. With ambitious plans to improve the local economy, Jane is already making headway with the growth in business collaborations within education.
2019 saw the rise of a more visible LGBTQ+ platform at Trafford College. For the first time students and staff were able to take an active role in the annual Manchester Pride Parade, after starring at Trafford Pride the year prior. As well as leading the way in awareness campaigns such as the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and joining the fight against HIV on World AIDS Day, the LGBTQ+ group organised by the Pastoral Support Tutor shows no sign of stopping.
The most outstanding individuals and institutions that the Further Education sector has to offer have been recognised in the shortlist for the 2020 TES FE Awards, and Director of Adult and Community Learning at Trafford College made the cut. Shortlisted for the Unsung Hero Award, Joan has an over-arching vision to ensure more students have the opportunity to take part in local, regional and national skills competitions, benefiting from life-changing, memorable experiences. Joan continually encourages and supports staff to use competitions to enhance teaching, learning and assessment which has acted as a catalyst to encourage students at all levels to get involved.
Our very own fearless leader, Principal and CEO Lesley Davies OBE, takes responsibility of Trafford College in its strategic development and growth. As a ‘mover and shaker’ within the sector Lesley was awarded her OBE for services to education in 2015. She is the Chair of the UK Skills Partnership, Board member of Ofqual and Chair of the Royal British Legion in Cheshire to list but a few. Named in the 100 Most Inspirational Woman from Greater Manchester, Lesley brings a wealth of knowledge and over 25 years of experience in education to Trafford College and to the region.
Within her first year of College, Macy signed up to become a student ambassador, joined the Equalities Committee, became co-founder of the Green College Assembly, won a student of the year award for her student ambassador work, was recruited as a ‘This Girl Can’ ambassador, and volunteered politically within the community. Continuing with her ambition to create a positive influence, Macy was appointed Student Governor of Trafford College and finished second at the national Association of Colleges Student of the Year Awards.
20-year-old Mays had to cut short the final year of her studies in Damascus, Syria because of fighting between separatist groups. Her school moved and she did her homework by candlelight due to the many power cuts that could last between 16 and 17 hours each day. Fast-forward a year after studying A-Levels with us at Trafford College and Mays was offered a place to study architecture at University, which she said would allow her to follow her dream of rebuilding her country.
Former catering student Sanjam won the hearts of the nation as she featured alongside classmate Exose Grant Lopo-Ndinga on the latest series of Bake Off: The Professionals. The pastry chef faced two challenges per episode that tested her professional ability and encouraged her to demonstrate a creative flair within the industry. During her time at Trafford College Sanjam was awarded Gold in the North West Commis Pastry Chef Competition, laying the foundation for future successes.
Sian excelled through the Skills Shop’s employability programme, created to support individuals back into employment. Based at the Intu Trafford Centre, Sian gained employment as a sales assistant with Ann Summers, and, whilst studying and working through the Skills Shop, she was presented with the Employability Award at Trafford College for her dedication and enthusiasm to the programme. Sian has since moved into a supervisor’s role at Ann Summers and is now on track to complete the necessary qualifications to become store manager.
It would be any Manchester City fan’s dream – to carry the Premier League Trophy onto the pitch for the titleholder’s last game of the season. Former Trafford College student Zahrah Malik was able to do just that, appear on television carrying the trophy at the end of the match against Brighton, thanks to her voluntary work and dedication to her degree for the Club’s charity arm, City in the Community - an opportunity made possible through her BTEC in Development Coaching and Fitness. Zahrah became one of only 35 people in the UK to secure a place on a Community Football Coaching degree with City in the Community at Manchester City Academy’s in September 2018.