A deep frustration over the punitive measures being imposed on London motorists has inspired a London South East Colleges student, Taiwo Salami, to voice his concerns in a written entry (Are local authorities quite literally ripping us off?) to the London Voices Journalism Competition 2018. So passionate and well researched was the entry, it has landed Taiwo the winning position in the ‘Best Beginner Award’ sponsored by The Media Society.

Health Care Support Worker, Taiwo has spent the last year studying GCSE English in the evenings at our Bromley Campus. Supporting vulnerable people in the community means that his job requires him to complete complex reports, statements, support plans and assessments on a regular basis. Because of this, he decided to improve his writing skills and hopes that they will enhance his chances of moving into his dream job as a nurse.

He joined the College, enrolling on our GCSE English programme in September 2017. We run a variety of courses each year, supporting people from across the capital to progress their careers and improve their skills through GCSE English and maths. Rather than the traditional classroom he expected, he found that the College instead used innovative and inspirational approaches to the delivery of English, with tutors having high expectations of student interaction and participation. He began to see his classes not just about getting a qualification, but also about improving his confidence and general communication skills.

If you are interested in studying for your GCSE English and/or Maths qualifications, we have a range of flexible, part-time courses to get you started. Click here to learn more.

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As part of the course, Taiwo attended a workshop event for the London Voices competition run by Jem Collins from Journo Resources. Inspired by what he learned about journalism and writing at the workshop, he decided to research and submit an article on the harsh punishments dished out to London drivers and the disruption caused across the capital because of them. His inspiration came from realising how many issues motorists face being wrongly ticketed for capital gain, and he wanted to give a voice to London drivers who are being given a rough deal. 

The judges said: “This was a really nice bit of local newsy reportage with all the key ingredients needed for a good journalistic piece.”

Taiwo was over the moon to be selected as an award winner for the competition and he has decided to continue with his academic studying.  He is even thinking about producing more articles, because as he says: “Let’s face it, Londoners need a voice!”

Taiwo collected his award from sponsor Steve Jeffery at a high-profile event at the Art Workers’ Guild in Bloomsbury on Tuesday 10 July.

The London Voices Competition encourages and promotes emerging journalism talent across the capital, giving diverse individuals the opportunity to tackle both local and national issues. Londoners over the age of 14 across 21 boroughs sent in written articles, videos, audio files and multimedia entries which challenged the ways people think about their communities and discussed issues ranging from food markets to child obesity, from mental health to non-league football. The competition was open to anyone who lives, works or studies in London, and received entries from schools, FE Colleges, Universities and individuals. Around half of the entries were from people with no previous experience of journalism.

The competition was sponsored by London Learning Consortium, Journo Resources, London South Bank University, Newsweek Media Group, Panda Radio, The Media Society, Update News and ynuk.tv.

In the news: Two London FE students scoop journalism competition awards (FE News)

In the news: The Media Society Awards Four Prizes at London Voices 2018 Competition (The Media Society)

Related news: Abbie makes news with London citizen journalist competition win

Words: Amanda Pavon-Lopez, London Voices Competition Manager. Photo: Chris Brown.


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