AQA Unlocking Potential students celebrate in style in Westminster

Published: Tuesday 11 Jul 2023

Students on the AQA Unlocking Potential mentoring programme celebrated at a special event in London, Westminster.

Over 110 students from schools across the country attended the event at the QEII centre in central London, with stunning views across Westminster and Parliament Square, to celebrate completing the programme.

They were joined by their athlete mentors from the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, staff and trustees from AQA and the Trust, and the AQA volunteers, a group of AQA employees that take time out of their working day to support AQA.

The morning session consisted of fun games and activities for the students, where they competed in teams to complete a series of challenges, and being just across from parliament, we had some special guests too.

We were visited by five MPs, who took time out of their busy day to come and meet the students from schools in their constituency, find out more about what they’d been doing on the programme and talk about their social action project.

The award ceremony, which began after lunch, was hosted by Claire Bennett, former team GB fencer and Commonwealth Games gold medallist. Dame Kelly Holmes Trust CEO Ben Hilton said a few words of thanks before it was the turn of Colin Hughes, AQA CEO, to address the crowd and introduce this year’s programme video. We also heard from two of the schools about their social action projects and experience on the programme.

Finally, it was presentation time, where Colin and Ben presented each student with a certificate, goody bag and £30 Amazon voucher!

Speakers presenting on the social action project at Victoria School

A group photo of staff and students at the AQA Unlocking Potential celebration event

Colin Hughes, AQA Chief Executive, said:

“AQA Unlocking Potential is an amazing programme and it was a fantastic celebration event. It’s great to see the progress these young people have made over the last eight months and the incredible social action projects they’ve delivered.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to all the students and teachers that signed up and took part, to the athletes and staff from the Trust and to colleagues at AQA that deliver this wonderful programme and impact so many young lives.

“We really value AQA Unlocking Potential, being able to celebrate with these young people at the end of this journey, and see the difference it has made to them, is a pleasure and a privilege.”

Neil Pearce, Assistant Principle at Oasis Mayfield Academy, said:

“Our students had an amazing experience at the celebration event. It was a lovely way to end their AQA Unlocking Potential journey and celebrate their successes.

“They took part in some fun activities with the athlete mentors and other students, and we even had a personal tour of the Houses of Parliament thanks to our local MP, Royston Smith.

“Our students felt very lucky and privileged, but also appreciated that their hard work on the programme and their social action project, is what made this all possible. They really earned this and it’s been great for their development, I’d highly recommend the AQA Unlocking Potential programme.”

Nominations for the next AQA Unlocking Potential programme will open in October 2023. For more information visit our AQA Unlocking Potential page.

The stage for the AQA Unlocking Potential celebration event

A board for sharing photos and stories at the Unlocking Potential celebration event

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