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School for Policy Studies alumni honoured at inaugural Bristol Alumni Awards

The winners of the Alumni Awards: Annie Hudson (fourth from the left), Chante Joseph (third from the right)

13 March 2019

The first University of Bristol Alumni Awards ceremony, which saw the broadcaster Sir David Attenborough receive a Lifetime Achievement award last night, celebrated the exceptional achievements of the University’s alumni.

Of a total of 10 winners - recognising national and international success in science, literature, business, sport, social justice, public health, journalism and broadcasting - the School for Policy Studies were represented in two categories:

Alumni Award for Community Impact – Annie Hudson (BSc 1972, Cert 1997)

This award recognises the personal contributions alumni have made to the enrichment of society through services to their community.

Annie received her BSc in Social Sciences at Bristol and returned nearly 20 years later to study for her certificate in Social Care Management. She is a prominent social care leader in the UK, who has made a significant impact through her previous role as Director of Children’s Services in Bristol and now at the London Borough of Lambeth. She also held the position of Chief Executive of The College of Social Work and is one of the most admired leaders in UK children’s services. A truly extraordinary person who has been passionate, vocal and integral to improvements in her profession for the last 40 years.

Annie thanked her teachers within the School for Policy Studies and said, “It was that experience which gave me the confidence to do what I wanted to do in my life, but perhaps more importantly to give me a sense of curiosity about the world, about children, about families, about communities and generally how we all tick. The studies that I did then and the people I met gave me a really strong bedrock for the things I have done”.

Vice Chancellor’s Award – Chanté Joseph (BSc 2018)

This award recognises the aspirational work and notable achievements of a recent graduate that benefits local communities and wider society.

During her time at Bristol, Chanté championed the importance of diversity and equality through a variety of roles. In her first year, whilst studying Social Policy, she was elected as the chair of the student council with the largest margin in the history of student council elections. In her second year, she launched ‘Bristol is the New Black’ - a project dedicated to giving black students in Bristol a voice, which received funding from O2. During her final year, she founded the BME Powerlist which recognises Bristol’s 100 most influential Black and Minority Ethnic People. Her dedication to effecting change in such a positive manner brought national recognition with a place on the TAB Future 100 list, which describes itself as ‘a definitive list of women at UK universities who are set to achieve incredible things in the future’. Since graduating, she has written for numerous high-profile publications and has her own website with commentary on political and cultural issues.

Chante thanked the University in her acceptance speech and acknowledged it for giving me the ability to find my voice”.

The celebration gala dinner was co-hosted in at Mansion House in London by the Vice-Chancellor Professor Hugh Brady and Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Peter Estlin, also an alumnus of the School for Policy Studies (BSc Social Science 1982). Other winners included Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo and gold medal-winning netball player Eboni Usuro-Brown.

Sabbatical Officers Vanessa Wilson and Adam Stanford compered the evening, presenting the awards in front of a 200-strong audience, who also enjoyed live entertainment from the University of Bristol Gospel Choir.

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