Eleanor Wilson receives MBE for community education work

02 July 2015

Eleanor Wilson receives MBE for community education work

Ms Eleanor Wilson with her MBE

Eleanor Wilson has received her MBE from the Queen for services to community education, during an Investiture ceremony and Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on Wednesday (July 1).

Ms Wilson has been responsible for the University's sector-leading initiatives to raise aspiration and widen access to higher education.

An MBE is awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community. It is also awarded for local ‘hands-on’ service which stands out as an example to other people.

Ms Wilson said: “"This is a shared honour as I am privileged to lead a dedicated team of colleagues who are making a real difference to the lives of many and to the communities we serve. It is also testament to the pioneering work of our Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE who founded the Caledonian Club and the commitment of the partner schools who work with us.”

In her role as Director of Outreach and Community Engagement, Ms Wilson heads the Caledonian Club, engaging with 11500 young people and 3000 parents, and operating in Glasgow since 2008, London since 2012 and, soon, New York. Its work has been supported by more than 500 student mentors, many of whom are former Caledonian Club members themselves.

Beyond the Caledonian Club, GCU continues to show its commitment to widening participation through a breadth of programmes that support the journey through school, college and university.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE said: "As a University for the Common Good, GCU is proud of its sector-leading role in this area, and on behalf of the University, I congratulate Eleanor."

GCU colleagues attending the Royal Garden Party included Professor Caroline Parker and Lesley Afuakwah, an artist working for Caledonian Club, who were awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service this year for their work with Castle Semple Rowing Club.

GCU lecturer Malawi Ngwira was invited to the Garden Party in recognition of his charity and international community engagement activities. He has been part of the team spearheading GCU-led development projects in Malawi such as Scottish Government-funded projects in climate justice. He has also teamed up with a housing association in North Glasgow and the High Commissioner of Malawi to support Malawian students in their studies in the School of Engineering and Built Environment.

Jim White and David Kennedy from GCU’s Gatehouse also attended the Garden Party.