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Celebrations and commendations at the Gateway Gala

11th September 2014

gala 6 highbury CROPThanks to all the guests who made the time to come along to our Gala on Friday and celebrate with us at the impressive Highbury Hall. We had a great time and we hope you did too.

As ever, the Gala guests were a unique mix of people. They included not just our own staff (including volunteers, trainees and interpreters), but commissioners, partners, members of our board, and a number of people we have supported over the last year.

gala 33 presentations CROPBoard Chair, Ann Forletta, said, “It was great to see so many people at the Gala coming together to celebrate the achievements of the last year. Part of what our Gala is about is enabling people, who may not normally meet, to have a conversation and hopefully to go away understanding that little bit more. Maxine Brown, the Gala organiser, did a great job to come up with an event that felt special and – we felt – had something for everyone.”

Maxine said, “I thought the Gala went really well. The gardens at Highbury Hall are lovely and I’m pleased the weather was good enough for us to be able to enjoy them! The quiz that our co-ordinating team came up with made for a great ice-breaker and the Mercian String Quartet helped to give the evening a real sense of occasion.”


The main part of the night was our awards ceremony.

As well as the Partnership Awards, which you can read about in our previous blog post, we also gave awards to members of staff and clients who’ve achieved great things over the last year. You can see a full list of names and more details on our Award Winners page.

Achievement Awards

SJC_3092_edit_cropThese awards, which recognise the achievements of the people we’ve worked with, are probably the most important awards of the evening.

It was a difficult task, as most of the 9000+ people we’ve worked with over the last twelve months have achieved something, whether that’s a personal goal or a change to their lifestyle or behaviour. However, we asked the people who know best – our staff – to pick out the people who are most memorable to them; those who have achieved something out of the ordinary or who have overcome a particularly high hurdle.


Everyone who received a qualification with Gateway in the last 12 months also received a learner’s award.


  • The Volunteers and Health Ambassadors achieved Employability and Personal Development level 1 and some also completed Youth at Risk training
  • Training to Care trainees achieved Diplomas in Health and Social Care level 2
  • Interpreters finished their course in Community Interpreting. To date 25 people have completed the course and it means we can now cover 19 languages.
Making a Positive Social Impact

One of Gateway’s core values is to make a positive social impact with everything we do. So these awards are nominated by staff for their colleagues who they feel have made a particularly positive social impact, on them, the organisation or their clients over the last 12 months, by going above and beyond their job role. We are pleased to say that this year we have received a record number of nominations.

gala 38 disco CROPYou can see a full list of award winners on our Award Winners 2014 page.

Maxine said, “Thanks to the venue team at Highbury, for whom nothing was too much trouble. And we mustn’t forget the superb disco, which finished the evening off a treat!”

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  1. Mandy Shanahan

    A great night celebrating individual acheivements and reminding us of the impact Gateway has on people’s health and education.

    Congratulations to you all.

  2. Lynne hemming

    I would just like to thank you all at gateway for my invertation to the gala night. It was so lovely to see faces that I have and still do miss. I had an understanding of what gateway do, well I throught I did. The speaches and presations really opened my eyes at what gateway do, how they change people’s life’s for the better, giving people the chance to prove themselfs and how people can actually chance with the help and support from gateway. I personally will be forever in debt to gateway, especially Michelle bluck for giving me the chance to fulfill my passion and care for the elderly. Having worked in care before and having experience with patients, no one was willing to employ me as I had no paper quailfcations, but Michelle gave me that chance, the chance to do what I love most. I have longed to care every since my first care role. I have never been more clear in what I want and will become one day and that’s a nurse. My sons ill health has made be realise nursing is the road for me, and one day I will be back working for the NHS helping to chance people’s life’s.
    Everyone at gateway really do have a loving heart and I will miss you all deallly. Xx

    • Katherine Hewitt

      We hope it wont be too long before you’re able to take up your care work again Lynne. All the feedback we’ve received suggests you’re a natural!

    • Michelle Bluck

      Its been a pleasure Lynne and great to see you having a great time at the Gala.
      When the times right for you I am sure you will pick up Health and Social Care again.
      Wishing you all the best