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Accolades for alumni at school’s inaugural awards ceremony

Monday 19 November 2018

Former pupils from the last seven decades came back to school on Saturday for the presentation of the inaugural Leeds Luminaries Awards for alumni at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL).

Introduced to celebrate GSAL’s 10th birthday, the awards recognise the achievements of alumni from its founder schools, Leeds Grammar School and Leeds Girls’ High School, as well as more recent leavers. The current coeducational school was created when the boys’ and girls’ schools merged in 2008.

The school’s funniest old boy Barry Cryer, who left Leeds Grammar School in 1953, was the guest of honour at the awards gala dinner. The evening was hosted by former BBC news anchor and GSAL governor Jacqui Harper.

Barry presented the awards and amused the guests with an after dinner speech, reminiscing about his school days and how he used to practise his jokes on his fellow pupils. He concluded: “It’s been a wonderful evening.  I have so many fond memories of my time at Leeds Grammar School and being here tonight has been really quite emotional.”

The event was an opportunity to celebrate the talents of GSAL’s current students too. The menu was designed by Y9 food technology students and the awards were designed and manufactured by Y10 design technology students. On the night, students entertained the guests with live music and magic tricks.

Congratulations to the award winners:

STEM & Medicine – Zoë Hudson (OG84), leading sports physiotherapist and polar explorer

Business & Enterprise – Graeme Lee (OL83), founder and CEO of Springfield Healthcare Group and pioneer of the unique ‘Care Village’ concept

Charity & Community – Barry Brindley (former teacher at Leeds Girls’ High School and GSAL), founder and head of the Zikomo Trust which has raised over £426,000 to help impoverished communities in Malawi

Sport – Lucy Harris (GSAL14), netball player for England and Superleague club Wasps Netball

Arts & Humanities – Lady Valerie Solti (OG55), musical patron who founded the Solti Foundation with her daughters

Rising Star – Shaan Ahmed (GSAL09) and Haaris Ahmed (GSAL11), entrepreneurial brothers who founded innovative fintech property company, UOWN

Lifetime Achievement – Baroness Neville-Jones (OG58), cyber security expert who has held many distinguished roles in politics, defence and media

Visit GSAL alumni on Facebook for more photos

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