Night of inspiration at Education Awards as speakers praise schools

Thee first-ever Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards were held at the South Holland Centre, Spalding, on Wednesday night.

Hosted by Free Press and Guardian Editor Jeremy Ransome, more than 200 people, including nominees, judges, sponsors and guests, enjoyed a glittering occasion at the town’s community arts venue.

South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes speaks while Free Press and Guardian editor Jeremy Ransome looks on.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes speaks while Free Press and Guardian editor Jeremy Ransome looks on. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Inspirational speeches were given by Paralympic athlete Carl Harding and John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, as schools, sponsors and guests all praised the idea of holding the event.

On a night of inspiration for children, parents and staff, retired RAF Flight Lieutenant Carl Harding and John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, praised the heroes of education from our area.

Mr Harding of Bourne, parent-governor at the Willoughby School, Bourne, and an archery gold medallist in this year’s Invictus Games for wounded servicemen and women, encouraged teachers in particular to make the most of their careers.

“It’s a vocation where you’re making a difference and laying a foundation for the rest of your pupils’ lives,” Mr Harding said.

Guests at the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards at the South Holland Centre, Spalding.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Guests at the Lincolnshire Free Press and Spalding Guardian Education Awards at the South Holland Centre, Spalding. Photo by Tim Wilson.

Meanwhile, Mr Hayes spoke of his pride in being invited to judge the education awards and his own interest in promoting educational standards in the area, with his own sons both attending schools in South Holland.

Mr Hayes said: “Education is the lighting of a fire and what begins as a spark can be an inferno of a passion for learning and understanding.

“That’s the power that lies in the hands of those who are in education.”

Retired RAF Flight Lieutenant Carl Harding shows off his Invictus Games gold medal.  Photo by Tim Wilson.

Retired RAF Flight Lieutenant Carl Harding shows off his Invictus Games gold medal. Photo by Tim Wilson.