On Thursday 5th July, Aggrie Chikiwa – our Head of Education, Training and Employment – attended Newham council’s Inspiring People awards ceremony to collect his award for being an inspiration in employment and training. The awards, held at East Ham Town Hall, were started to reward Newham residents who have gone the extra mile to make a difference in their community, or excel at something they do.
Aggrie was nominated in March by Anchor House’s Make It Happen Now Team as someone who has turned their life around in the face of adversity, through work or training.
Aggrie’s story is one of remarkable transformation. Once a teacher in Zimbabwe, he moved to the UK in 2002 but failed to secure a teaching job because he lacked UK qualifications. He got a street cleaner job and was studying part-time for a Bachelor of Education Degree, but suffered an industrial injury.
He lost his job, experienced family breakdown and homelessness. He was offered a place at Anchor House where as a volunteer he led functional skills and citizenship courses.
Anchor House employed Aggrie as a teacher in 2007. He designed an Education Programme that has helped hundreds of people and was awarded the UK Trainer of the Year 2010 by the UK Skills Council.
Anchor House Director, Keith Fernett, says, “Aggrie is a role model for our residents; his story has inspired hundreds of homeless people.”
On receiving the award from Newham’s Mayor Sir Robin Wales, Aggrie said “This award recognises that Anchor House’s service provision centres on self. Thank you very much to Anchor House for nominating me for this award, and for getting me back on the right path to turning my life around.”