Luton Sixth Form College has won a national award for its charity work in Malawi.
The Malawi Project was named the winner of the Community Impact category at the Sixth Form College Association Awards.
The college formed a partnership with two schools, two orphanages and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre,
Malawi’s second largest city in 2013. Since then every year staff have taken students to Malawi to help build libraries, teach in classrooms and dig water wells.
Retiring Principal Chris Nicholls said: “As I come to the end of my time here I can honestly say that this project stands out for me as one of the brightest jewels in the crown of Luton Sixth Form College. The commitment, energy, enthusiasm and creativity of the staff and students who plan all year, raise large sums of money and go out to Malawi to work in the orphanages, the schools and the hospital is all deeply impressive. It has had a huge and positive impact on the lives of young people in the city of Blantyre.”
Bill Watkin, chief executive of the Sixth Form Colleges Association, said: “The awards ceremony was a wonderful occasion to celebrate some of the exceptional people, qualities and strategies in colleges from all corners of the country.”
Principal Designate Altaf Hussain said: “I have had the honour and privilege of being involved with the project over the last few years including accompanying our amazing students on two occasions.
“The project success pretty much sums up what our college is all about – a diverse and vibrant community of optimists who see the opportunity in every difficulty.
“I am very keen to expand this project further over the next few years as it makes such a difference to influencing the creative mindset of our local young people whilst giving them some perspective in their role of global ambassadors.
“Looking ahead, as we continue to operate within a very tight financial framework, if there are any potential partners out there who would like to get involved in terms of sponsoring the project, I would love to hear from them.”