Students from Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate have celebrated their graduations.
The 27 students, who were joined by three of the 2020 graduates, each recorded a short speech about their time at College, what they had loved or what they wanted to do after graduation.
Among those graduating was Alfie Fox of York who uses his skills in photography and film making to raise awareness of the challenges facing people with visual impairments and other disabilities. He won a national award for his artwork, which shows how his visual impairment and other disabilities impact on the way he views his environment, in 2018 and was part of a showcase of young artists in York a year later. After leaving College, Alfie is joining Pyramid of Arts in Leeds.
He has also become a DISrupt artist in the city as a founding member of a disabled artists’ group and is joining a two-year research project led by the University of Leeds making art careers and education more inclusive for artists with learning disabilities as part of the Irregular Art School.
Alfie’s Curriculum Lead, Kim Robinson, said:
We have all been really impressed with his attitude to his learning, both in College and at home! He has achieved such a lot during his time with us at Henshaws, including his ICT Qualification. We are really going to miss having him around and wish Alfie all the best moving on to the next big thing.
There were a number of awards made to students, including the Gillian Lawrence Award, given to a student who has overcome their own obstacles to become a positive role model for others. It was presented to Liam Naylor by joint Chair of Governors, Sarah Greensides, who is Gillian Lawrence’s daughter.
Vice Principal Lisa Hart said:
When Liam joined College, his anxiety levels dominated everything he did and he was unable to participate in most off-campus activities. He has gradually built his confidence, has shone at work experience opportunities and he now aspires to become a teacher. We are very proud of him!