A host of achievements were celebrated this week with 40 young people from across Bromley being presented with prizes at a glittering awards ceremony.
The award winners have all been students at either Bromley Trust Academy (BTA) or Bromley Beacon Academy (BBA). Both schools are part of London South East Academies Trust, providing support and teaching for children between the ages of 5-18, who require an alternative to mainstream education.
Taking place at London South East Colleges’ Bromley Campus, awards were given to students to recognise a number of achievements including; behaviour, progress, attendance, resilience, sports and citizenship.
Special guest, former footballer Bradley Pritchard and now CEO of social enterprise ‘The Sporting Way’, presented the awards. He also talked to the winners and their families about his own journey to success and the challenges he faced.
Speaking to guests, Bradley said: “I am delighted to be here and congratulate everyone collecting an award this evening. I arrived in England at the age of 9 from Zimbabwe. It wasn’t easy and perhaps like many of you I had to fight against people’s negative perceptions and the low expectations of my capabilities.
“I dealt with this by surrounding myself with people who gave me the confidence to achieve my dreams and was lucky enough, through sheer hard work and determination, to become a professional footballer.
"What I wouldn’t accept is someone stopping me from doing something I believe in - and neither should you. Embrace who you are and take pride in proving people wrong. The work you put in will not be wasted. I wish you all the very best of luck in the future.”
CEO of London South East Academies Trust and London South East Colleges, Sam Parrett OBE, added: “Tonight’s award winners have made some amazing achievements throughout the last year. We are so proud of their hard work and success.
“It’s not been an easy road for many of these young people, but with the right academic and emotional support, they have proved that anything is possible.
“I am hugely grateful to our Executive Head teacher Neil Miller and his fantastic team, who work so tirelessly to support their students. I congratulate all the winners tonight and thank them and their families for being here tonight.
“If your mind is focused, and your heart is full of the right kind of stuff, you'll succeed and triumph over adversity. Everyone here tonight is a shining example of this.”
Winners arrived to collect their awards supported by families, guardians and teachers.
Closing the event, Executive Head teacher Neil Miller thanked Bradley for his inspirational words - along with staff, students and their families for all their support. He said: “I am incredibly proud of all our students and their many achievements. Recognising and celebrating this success is so important and I hope everyone feels inspired to continue with the hard work.”