Trust scoops teacher and student of the year awards

Director of Sixth Form, Kathryn Loughnan (left), won staff member of the year and sixth former Lydia Hardy (right) won student of the year.
Director of Sixth Form, Kathryn Loughnan (left), won staff member of the year and sixth former Lydia Hardy (right) won student of the year.

A Bournemouth education trust is celebrating a double triumph after winning both teacher and student of the year awards in a competition inspired by Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones.

Avonbourne Trust’s director of sixth form, Kathryn Loughnan, and Year 12 student Lydia Hardy, were given the special accolades in the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy awards.

Kathryn won after being nominated by her students for her record in helping the Trust win national awards, for giving up her free time to support them and for her passion.

As one student wrote: “I haven’t been taught by another teacher like her that provides so much support and passion. She has inspired me to do greater things.”

And Lydia’s recognition was for combining her studies with years dedicated to helping others.
She helped to forge the award-winning social enterprise Project Emerge, which provides finance to

Third World entrepreneurs, and tirelessly backs Avonbourne Trust’s adopted charity Ocean Stars, which supports Sri Lankan communities affected by the 2004 Tsunami.

Executive principal, Jason Holbrook, said: “We are thrilled for both Kathryn and Lydia for this very well deserved recognition.

“Kathryn has spearheaded so many entrepreneurial initiatives across the Trust and has worked tirelessly behind the scenes helping our students win countless business awards.

“I’m delighted that this time Kathryn is the one receiving an award, it is richly deserved.

“It’s also been a real pleasure to see Lydia grow and develop into such an inspirational young adult during her time at both Avonbourne College and now Avonbourne Sixth Form.

“She has combined her passionate nature with business acumen to support charities and Third World entrepreneurs.”

Avonbourne Trust became a Peter Jones Enterprise Academy (PJEA) last year – the only one on the south coast of England.

By being a PJEA school it can offer tailored business courses and qualifications as well as entering challenges inspired by the famous businessman.

In addition to scooping staff and student of the year in the PJEA awards, Avonbourne sixth former Joshua Binns was also a finalist in the Inspiration award.

Joshua, who is originally from South Africa, was nominated by his peers for adapting so well to living in a new country and being an excellent student while helping his disabled step mother take care of his triplet siblings who have cerebral palsy.

Lydia, Joshua and fellow PJEA student Sarvish Sohan are now embarking on their next challenge – pitching an environmental business idea to the national Micro-Tyco entrepreneur competition for schools.

Their idea to provide all students with one-use water bottles to reduce plastic has already been successfully piloted in the sixth form thanks to the support of Microsoft, which funded the project.

Now they are hoping to win the competition to help them spread their idea to all schools and colleges in the UK and help raise funds for Ocean Stars.

You can vote for Avonbourne Trust’s environmentally friendly water bottle pitch by clicking


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