Bridgend College’s Fellowship Award 2023 presented to Ingrid Lestrade

We are delighted to welcome three distinguished guests from South Africa, who are visiting the College as part of an on-going development of an organisational partnership. Through the partnership, we seek to provide ways to enhance global citizenship of students and enable the sharing of knowledge and skills in order to support rural farming communities in the Western Cape.

Ingrid Lestrade and Louise Leher, Founders of Inspire Children and Youth, and Lisle Svenson, a Lecturer within the Economic and Management Faculty and Coordinator of the Small Business Unit at the University of the Western Cape, will be spending a week at Bridgend College. During their visit, they will spend time working with students and staff from different curriculum disciplines, sharing insights and identifying further opportunities for partnership and collaboration.

Ingrid was also the recipient of this year’s Bridgend College Fellowship Award due to her passion and lifelong commitment to developing communities and opportunities for future generations. The award was conferred during today’s Higher Education Award Ceremony which was held at the College’s Pencoed Campus.

‘I am honoured to have received such special recognition – this inspires me to continue to create safe spaces for the most vulnerable children and women in South Africa. This honorary fellowship highlights the important role education plays in positively impacting and transforming lives.

The partnership and collaboration between Inspire Children and Youth and Bridgend College continues to develop and grow and this visit has provided further opportunities to realise our dream of establishing a vocational agricultural college to create an alternative economy in rural farming communities in South Africa.’

Ingrid Lestrade, Founder of Inspire Children and Youth and recipient of the 2023 Bridgend College Fellowship Award

Earlier this year, members of the College curriculum leadership team visited Middelpos Farm, located near Malmesbury in South Africa, as part of an international exchange programme. This trip not only provided valuable learning opportunities for our staff but also further developed the relationship between Bridgend College, Inspire Children and Youth and the University of the Western Cape.

The programme, funded by the Welsh Government, has enabled the further development of education and training practices aligned to sustainable development and digital technologies, whilst building on Inspire Children and Youth’s charitable mission of education, food sustainability and health.

‘We are absolutely delighted to host this important visit to the College and to acknowledge the outstanding contribution Ingrid has made to philanthropic causes and to further the work and reach of Inspire Children and Youth.’

Viv Buckley, Principal and Chief Executive of Bridgend College
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