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Governor Profiles

We have an experienced  Board of Governors who continue to support QAC and ensure that we are meeting our strategic aims.

Click on a governor's name to view more details.

Ian Richards - Chair of Governors

Ian Richards

Ian is a chartered accountant, who qualified with a major international firm after completing a degree in chemistry at the University of Birmingham.  During his career he has been finance director of a number of small and medium sized enterprises in the West Midlands, including a subsidiary of WH Smith. He also spent four years as deputy principal and clerk to the corporation of Rugby College of Further Education, from where his interest in FE stems. In 2002 he started working as an interim manager, undertaking short, trouble-shooting projects in a wide variety of businesses.

In recent years Ian has concentrated on voluntary work and is trustee of YSS, a charity that supports young people in the criminal justice system.  Between January 2009 and July 2012 he was a governor of City College Birmingham, playing an active role in its eventual merger with South Birmingham College.  Ian joined the board of Bournville College of FE in January 2015, becoming its chair in April and subsequently overseeing its merger with South & City College Birmingham in August 2017.  He remains a governor of the merged college.

Ian has been a student at the Brasshouse Language centre for many years and is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Linguists. He and his partner are frequent visitors to France, where they own a house. He is also a regular visitor to Symphony Hall, especially when the CBSO are playing.

Ian has served as an independent member of the Audit committee of QAC since 2009, becoming a full governor in November 2012. He became Vice Chair of the Board in September 2013 and has been Chair since July 2018.

Rosemary Adams OBE

Rosemary Adams OBE

Rosemary Adams joined the Board in June 2019.  She trained as a teacher and has had a wide range of posts in education during her 55-year career. She retired in September 2018 but maintains a lively interest in all aspects of education. Her special interest is in special education having qualified as a teacher for students with visual impairment and a degree in cognitive psychology. She has taught students with physical, visual, hearing, language and learning difficulties. She was head teacher of Baskerville School for 18 years before she retired. She has worked in 8 different schools as a teacher, deputy and head teacher across 5 local authorities and the RNIB.

Between 1991 and 2001 she worked for Local Educational Authorities as an inspector, specialist advisor and senior advisor involved in school improvement, inspection, leadership policy and provision. She became an OFSTED lead Inspector in 1994 until 2006 inspecting primary, secondary and special schools.

Rosemary has had close working links with Bournville College since 2004 when a Resource Base for Baskerville School students was established and in 2015 she became a Governor of Bournville College.

In 2016 Rosemary had the great privilege of being awarded an OBE for services to education. The students at Baskerville School celebrated the event by hosting ‘This is your life’ for Rosemary which greatly amused the whole school and provided good preparation for the more nerve-wracking event at Buckingham Palace.

Rosemary lives in a small village in Leicestershire and enjoys walking her dogs, swimming and gardening. She greatly enjoys being a Governor of QAC and in meeting ex pupils from Baskerville School. She is particularly interested in the Curriculum and Quality Committee and in Mobility.

Andy Billingham

Andy Billingham

Andy Billingham joined the Board in February 2019. Andy qualified as an electrician and worked for a local company based in Oldbury West Midlands for 17 years, before deciding to setup his own business. In 2009 Andy developed Retinitis Pigmentosa a condition that affects your eye sight registering him blind. This made him focus and change his direction on career. Andy took time out to study a degree in psychology which took him 3 years to complete; he now works for Thomas Pocklington Trust a national charity that supports people with sight loss. Andy started his career as an Engagement Manager for Birmingham setting up sight loss councils across the region which are designed to give blind and partially sighted people a voice.

Andy’s current role within Thomas Pocklington Trust is now the Director of Engagement. He has helped develop the direction of Thomas Pocklington Trusts new Engagement Strategy, outlining the plan for the national setup of sight loss councils across the UK.

In his spare time, Andy volunteers to be a trustee at the Beacon Centre for the Blind. He also enjoys relaxing with family and supporting Aston Villa attending all the home games for many years.

Andy is married with 2 sons and 2 daughters. Three of them have successful careers and one is still at secondary school. He also has one grandchild which takes up lots of his spare time. 

Chris Bradshaw

Chris Bradshaw

Chris Bradshaw has been a governor since 2005 and was chairman from 2013 to 2018. He is a qualified accountant with experience of finance management, strategic and operational planning, corporate leadership and governance.

Chris retired from the NHS in 2014 after 21 years as a board level director at Birmingham Children's Hospital, Sandwell PCTs and George Eliot Hospital. His experience included, respectively, the relocation of Birmingham Children's Hospital, establishing and being a public sector director of an NHS/private sector joint venture and turnaround from special measures to a CQC rating of good.

His charity experience includes NHS charities, Birmingham Royal Institution for the Blind, and The Dystonia Society. He also supports a number of other charities in the field of disabilities.

Chris is also a governor of Warwickshire College Group, which operates seven mainstream further education colleges in Warwickshire and Worcestershire.  He Chairs the Audit Committee, a college Advisory Board, and is link governor for Safeguarding & Prevent.

Chris is married with two sons, the younger of which has an autistic spectrum disorder and attended QAC where he completed a BTEC National Diploma in Art & Design. 

Dr Anne Green BSc, MSc, PhD, FRSC, FRCPath, FRCPCH, FSB

Dr Anne Green

Anne Green joined the board in May 2014.

Anne trained as a Biochemist at Liverpool and Birmingham Universities and had a full time career as a Clinical Chemist for 39 years in the NHS. She specialised in Paediatrics with posts at Sheffield and Birmingham Children’s Hospitals. She has held several senior positions at Board level including Director of Laboratory services and Director of Specialist services for Inherited Metabolic Disorders for the West Midlands, both based at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. She was appointed as Honorary Professor of Paediatric Biochemistry at Birmingham University in 2004.  Since her retirement from full time work in 2006 she worked for the Department of Health as Lead Scientist for the Newborn Screening Centre based at Great Ormond Street Hospital until 2011. Her career has involved teaching and research as well as working as part of a clinical team for patients with rare disorders, many of whom had significant disabilities.

Anne lives in Alvechurch with her husband Richard. They enjoy gardening, walking, canal trips, reading and overseas travelling. Since retirement Anne has trained in a volunteer role as a sighted guide with the Guide Dogs Association. She is a member of Central Birmingham Soroptimists and volunteered at Sight Village in 2012, 2013, 2015 to 2018.

A particular achievement for Anne was walking 12 miles across Morecambe Bay (at low tide!!) as part of a sponsored walk to raise money for Galloway’s Society for the Blind.

Anne is enjoying her Governor role enormously and finds it very rewarding.  She is currently Chair of the Curriculum & Quality Committee.

Dr Ewan Hamnett

Dr Ewan Hamnett

Ewan Hamnett joined the board in February 2018. Ewan qualified from Manchester Medical School in 1980. 

His career path took him abroad to Jamaica and Canada before returning to the UK in 1988 where he spent 26 years as a GP at Lordswood Practice just round the corner from QAC.

He remained full time throughout his career but was also GP tutor and honorary tutor for Birmingham Medical School.  He retired in 2014.

While working, and more so since retirement, Ewan has been a passionate advocate of prevention to cure the ills of the NHS while realising for the most disadvantaged in our community that is more difficult.

He remains keen on activity himself having competed in 3 Triathlon World Championships. Having accepted the limitations of his running he now concentrates on cycling.

Ewan was also appointed by the city in 2014 to champion physical activity and is on the Board of ukactive and the Partnerships Board of the Canal and River Trust.

He is married to another doctor, Mandy, whose days were spent as a consultant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. They have 3 daughters who have perhaps all wisely chosen to avoid medicine as a career. 

Bill Houle FRICS

Bill Houle

Bill Houle was born 20 July 1953 in Hertfordshire UK. He was educated at Christ College, Brecon. He achieved professional qualifications as an Associate of the RICS in 1979 and is a Fellow of the Institution.

Bill is a Chartered Surveyor and has an extensive property background and, as a former director of Phoenix Beard, managed departments in Agency (industrial, office and leisure), Professional and Corporate Clients.  He has acted as expert witness and undertaken a number of consultancy roles in both the public and private sectors. He formed partnership development company Trigram Properties in 2001 and developed and investment managed over 1 million sq ft of commercial, industrial and residential property. He is former Managing Director of Prosperity Developments delivering new apartments across the Midlands.  He provides Development Management and Consultancy Services through Trigram Properties. He is Chairman of Zukon Property Group, a Chinese property investment business.

Bill has been a member of Birmingham’s Conservation Heritage Panel, a former Trustee of the Birmingham Conservation Trust, former treasurer of the Birmingham Design Initiative and a member of the Lunar Society. His interests and hobbies include old performance cars, sailing and reading science fiction.  He has two grown up children and three grandchildren.

He lives with his wife on a farm at Wolverley near Kidderminster with 3 dogs, 6 cats, 4 geese and 6 horses. 

Bev Jessop

Bev Jessop

Bev became Principal & Chief Executive of Queen Alexandra College in July 2018 and has worked at the College since 2011 when she was appointed as Vice Principal. She has worked in both mainstream and specialist educational settings and is a qualified teacher.

Bev is currently the Regional Director for the West Midlands on the Board of Natspec (the association of specialist providers for students with learning difficulties and disabilities) and a part time FES Ofsted Inspector specialising in High Needs and SEND.

Specialisms are: leadership and management of multidisciplinary provision; strategic development to maximise funding streams; improving organisational outcomes through quality improvement systems and practices; educational changes impacting upon SEN education and organisational behaviour; training and delivery to staff; and applying a person centred approach to maximise opportunities and progression for young people with SEND.

Bev has a keen interest in educational management, with a Masters in ‘Educational Leadership’ as well as an MBA in ‘Change Management’.

Bev also paints, writes, reads widely and has an eclectic taste in music, with a preference for the noisier types. 

Janet McCall BSc, PGCE, BPhil Ed (Visual Impairment), QTVI

Janet McCall

After studying for a degree in Geology at Leicester University where she met her husband Steve, Jan completed her PGCE and began her career as a teacher in a mainstream secondary school in Liverpool.

In 1986, after living for seven years on the Isle of Wight, Jan moved to Birmingham and became a secondary school teacher at Priestley Smith School for the Blind and Partially Sighted. There she became responsible for Maths, Geography and input to PE.  In 1990 Jan qualified as a teacher of the visually impaired at the University of Birmingham.   In 1999 she became Head of the Secondary Department at the school, teaching and supporting many students who went on to QAC.

At Priestley Smith Jan gained experience in safeguarding, curriculum development and underwent senior management training. Jan is a fluent sighted reader and writer of Braille and for many years was a member of the VIEW Curriculum Groups for Maths and Geography. She has been a guest lecturer on training programmes for teachers of the visually impaired at the University of Birmingham and has supervised teaching placements for trainee specialist teachers.

Since her retirement in 2011 Jan has undertaken consultancy work for Sightsavers International in Sierra Leone and for British Council in Morocco.  Her consultancy work has involved her in delivering teacher training and evaluating education services for children and young people with visual impairment.

Jan lives in Sutton Coldfield, has three grown up children and enjoys travelling, Sudoku puzzles and reading. Her ambitions include establishing the first Special Education Teacher Training programme in Sierra Leone.   Jan serves on the College’s Curriculum Committee and is the governor responsible for Safeguarding at the College. 

Steve McCall

Steve McCall

Dr Steve McCall retired in 2011 from his post as Senior Lecturer at the School of Education at in the University of Birmingham.  He is a qualified teacher of the visually impaired and started his career in a school for the visually impaired in Liverpool and later worked as an advisory teacher, supporting children with visual impairment in mainstream schools.  In 1986 he joined the University where he was responsible for the mandatory training programmes in teaching children with visual impairment and managed the 1 year training programme for supporting learners with visual impairment in Further Education. 

Steve became co director of VICTAR (the Visual Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research) in 2001.  His publications include the books ‘Visual Impairment – access to education for children and young people’, ‘Learning Through Touch’ and 'The Birmingham Braille Course': He was World Vice President of the International Council for the Education of the Visually Impaired (ICEVI) from 2002 – 2006 and has been a member of the ICEVI European Board since 2013.

His research interests include literacy for children who are blind and education for children with disabilities in developing countries.  He has conducted research in East and Central Africa for Sightsavers, a British based charity, and was joint editor of the British Journal of Visual Impairment.  He has been awarded an honorary senior lectureship at the University and is currently working as a consultant with both Sightsavers and the RNIB for whom he has developed online training resources on teaching braille literacy to children. With his wife Jan, he is also helping to establish training programmes for teachers of children with disabilities in Sierra Leone. 

In 2015 he was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the RNIB. 

 

 

Amanda McGeever

Amanda McGeever

Born in Birmingham in 1958, Amanda was educated at King Edward VI Camphill School for Girls. She read law at Birmingham University and practised in the Midlands specialising in matrimonial and criminal litigation until the arrival of her second child.

Amanda is married with four children and lives in Edgbaston.  Her husband is an employee at Gateley PLC.

Her youngest daughter has a range of autistic spectrum disorders and attended Queen Alexandra College studying a BTEC diploma in Hospitality, which she completed in July 2013.

Whilst spending her time pursuing support for Roisin she helps on a number of fundraising events in the area and is Chair of the Edgbaston Committee for Arthritis Research (UK).

Dog walking, cycling and theatre are some of her leisure activities. 

Andy Morris

Andy Morris

Andy is a chartered accountant and qualified with a major international firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, after completing a degree in mathematics at Warwick University.  After qualifying, he specialised in Tax for the public sector during his career with the firm, which included advising local authorities, health authorities, universities, FE colleges and charities. The demand for tax advice by these organisations was so great, that Andy created a bespoke Tax Advisory Service for the public sector in a joint venture with CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. This service had over 100 subscribers and was the UK’s principal tax advisory organisation for the public sector.

In his later career Andy specialised in corporate tax compliance, both in the UK and overseas, which required learning new skills in business transformation and change management.  Andy took on a new global role for the firm, which required significant overseas travel and interaction with many different business people and cultures.  Over this period, Andy visited most major cities around the world.

Outside of work, Andy set up and chaired a PTA charity for his children’s school, and also set up a charity for supporting families who have adopted children trans-racially.  Andy’s three children are all adopted, and of different races. He is interested in golf, tennis, reading, walking and technology developments, as well as a (slightly reluctant!) interest in gardening. 

Lorraine Moses-Copeman

Lorraine Moses-Copeman

Lorraine Moses-Copeman joined the board in February 2018.

Lorraine is an in-house Solicitor currently specialising in high value regeneration projects, central government and European Union funded work.  She also undertakes risk compliance and quality management work for her employer.  She obtained her LLB (Hons) degree at the University of Wolverhampton and following qualification as a Solicitor she worked in the private sector, primarily undertaking work in retail and residential planning law. She later moved into local government undertaking a varied caseload of regulatory work including food safety, consumer protection, environmental and Health and Safety work.

Prior to becoming a Solicitor Lorraine worked in managerial positions for the Probation Service and in forensic pathology.

Lorraine gives back to the community by mentoring undergraduate/post graduate individuals, promoting financial education for families and young people.  She has also worked as a probation volunteer supporting the families of individuals that are incarcerated.  Lorraine is interested in student welfare and sits on the Student Services Committee, she is also the Link Governor for Functional Skills and GCSEs. Lorraine also volunteers her time as a non-executive director for QAC Enterprises and a credit union in Birmingham.

In addition, Lorraine supports several humanitarian causes in the UK and internationally. 

She is learning to play the piano and according to her son and husband, she is an accomplished fusion cook. Lorraine also has a keen interest in foods that can heal the body.

John Penny

John Penny

After serving an industrial apprenticeship with the English Electric Co, John was a member of staff at Aston University for over forty years and was sometime Head of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Dept and later Director of Research in the School of Engineering.  He is now retired and is an Emeritus Professor.  His professional interests were, and still are, structural and rotor dynamics.  He has written and continues to write books on dynamics and mathematics.

His hobbies include reading, walking, railway history and technology, and astronomy.  He frequently gives talks and presentations on aspects of astronomy and is a member of the management committees of the City of Birmingham Group of the Ramblers and the Birmingham Astronomical Society.

He is a Trustee of Extend Exercise Training, a charity that promotes health and independence for those over-sixty and for less able people of all ages.

John is married with three children and eight grandchildren. 

Dr Julie Reed

Dr Julie Reed

Julie Reed joined the board in September 2017.

Julie is a clinical psychologist who has worked in the NHS since 1986. She has worked with young people with disabilities through most of her career. Julie led and managed a team of psychologists at Birmingham Children’s Hospital until 2015. She has worked as a lecturer in School of Psychology, Birmingham University and has published a number of research articles and book chapters.

Julie is now semi-retired, but continues to work part-time at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and City Hospital.

Julie lives in Harborne with her partner, Neal, and they have two teenage children. She enjoys yoga, travelling, reading and gardening. 

Gareth Robinson

Gareth Robinson

Gareth Robinson joined the Board in May 2016.  He is a Director at PwC and works exclusively with public sector organisations in the Health & Social Care sector.

He has a personal value set driven by a desire to contribute to society that he is able to fulfil to a great extent with his current career choice. This allows him to work extensively alongside public sector organisations, particularly hospital trusts, supporting them to improve across a range of agendas. He has a particular personal interest in supporting Children's Services. Earlier in his career, he started working within the NHS as a Divisional Director for Women's & Children's Services at Walsall and has continued to maintain a close link with Children's Services through actively seeking to work with organisations such as Birmingham Children's Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital

While working at PwC broadly allows him to fulfil his personal goals, the opportunity to support QAC is an exciting one where he can bring his commercial acumen and business experience to add value to the organisation and the students.

Gareth is married with two sons and shares a keen interest in sport. 

Ben Turner

Ben Turner

Ben Turner joined the board in November 2018.

Ben's main role in the college is as a Learning Support Manager which he has been doing for just over a year. During his time at QAC Ben has also taken on several other roles which include; MAPA Instructor, Staff Voice Rep and Chair as well as setting up and managing the debrief system 'Talk Through'.  Ben is currently setting up training for academic staff around ‘hard’ and soft’ skills such as Risk Assessment Awareness and Effective Teamwork etc. Ben is also a director of a small charity in Walsall that he has been with for over 4 years.

Ben’s first career was in Human Resources after completing his A levels and deciding not to go to university. During this time Ben worked across to local authorities over a period of 7 years.  After supporting his mother with a terminal illness Ben decided to do some volunteering by supporting adults with learning disabilities at a disco on a Thursday evening. Very quickly Ben realised that this was incredibly meaningful and something he could contribute to greatly. After a few months Ben had a complete career change and worked in social care in Local Authority and then two other charities before coming to work at QAC. Over the 5 years in social care Ben managed children, adult and community services across Birmingham and Walsall.

Ben's hobbies are walking, mindfulness, reading and is a proud lifelong learner.

Ben lives with his fantastic partner and amazing 3 year old son. 

Patrick Wing MBE JP

Patrick Wing MBE JP

Patrick Wing joined the board in September 2018.  Prior to this he had served on the board as a parent representative when his foster son was a student at the college.

Patrick is a retired Chief Superintendent having served in the West Midlands Police mostly stationed in and around Birmingham. On retirement Patrick took up a post with a resident led group in Balsall Heath as a community worker with the role of building partnerships between the residents and service providers, such as the Council, Police, health, education and fire service.

Patrick and his late wife fostered for many years and in addition to bringing up their own two children, adopted another and looked after a huge number of children, some with disabilities and special needs.

That led to a deeper interest in children with additional needs and Patrick has been involved for a long time with St Paul’s CDT in Balsall Heath and chairs the governing body of the independent school which provides education for young people with extreme behavioural needs and is also a trustee of that charity. He also sits on the governing body of Exhall Grange Specialist School in Coventry and two other Community Interest companies.

Patrick was appointed as a Magistrate ten years ago and sits in the adult court in Birmingham. He is a keen and yet ageing sportsman. In 2015 Patrick was awarded an MBE for services to the community in Solihull and Birmingham. 

Richard Percival - Independent Director (Chair of Audit Committee)

Richard Percival

Richard Percival is an Independent Director and Chair of Audit Committee. 

 

 

 

 

David Clark Independent Director QAC Enterprises

David Clark

David Clark – Independent Director QAC Enterprises

 

 

 

 

Dave Heeley - Patron

Dave Heeley

Dave was born 24th November 1957.  He is married to wife Debbie whom he whisked off to Gretna Green (a romantic at heart).  They have a hat trick of girls whom he is very proud of; also an important member of the family is his guide dog Seamus.

He was always known as a clumsy kid, never a day passed without cuts, bruises or a broken pair of glasses, until at around ten years of age all was revealed, he was diagnosed with an eye complaint called Retinitas Pigmentosa, just a slight problem, it meant he was going blind.  When first diagnosed he was quite a celebrity at school, “Wow Dave’s going blind”, no one else was so it was a case of “I’ve got something you haven’t got”.  He attended mainstream schools, Greets Green Junior and George Salter High School, his only claim to fame; he was the town champion at 1500 metres for five years.

The realisation of his eye complaint hit him with some force at the age of seventeen, his career in the army shattered and with all his friends taking driving tests made him realise the true implications of going blind, it was at this point he inwardly started feeling sorry for himself, “Why me”, but in life there are two paths to tread, negative or positive and as he will tell you he took the positive route.

Regardless of his sight problem, he’s had a varied working career, mainly office bound, other than his short stint on a fork lift truck, he admits he wasn’t always honest about his sight problem, he had his own company for around seven years, distributing suspended ceilings, partitions, dry lining and joinery, he loved the buying and selling but with bad luck, bad debt and bad eye sight, all good things come to an end.  After spending three years at the Queen Alexandra College for the Blind where he achieved skills in Braille, computers, carpentry and wood turning, it’s now easy for him to lose himself in his workshop where he loves to design and make all kinds of furniture.  He now even has a weekly radio slot on Insight radio called DIY with Blind Dave and still no fingers missing!

Dave tried hard over the years to conceal his blindness but with his eyesight gradually declining the accidents kept increasing until he had to admit defeat and resort to using the white stick, which made him feel incapable, vulnerable and extremely frustrated.  Suddenly overnight Dave’s life was changed when he was introduced to Peter his first Guide Dog. No longer the hunched figure trawling the footpath, but full of confidence, standing and walking tall, feeling very proud, striding out with a sure footed four legged friend, mobility assured, as for independence, the perfect recipe for adventure, with a social life, second to none, his only regret is not having a Guide Dog sooner.

For fun he’s up for most challenges, he’s had a go at most things, ski-ing, water ski-ing, horse riding, cliff jumping in Corfu, drove around Brands Hatch, rode motor bikes, drove a tank in the Highlands of Scotland, abseiled, was let loose in a speed boat, completed the Go Ape course in Grisedale forest, an Aerial assault course in the trees and he certainly enjoys his running. Competing in many half marathons, including the Great North and South runs along with the New York marathon and to date completing his 7th consecutive London marathon.  Oh! And of course completing 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents the ultimate challenge! Not forgetting he is now also the first blind person in the world to achieve this.

After completing the epic challenge, which took him on a running journey around the world, as stated previously, running 7 marathons, in 7 days, over 7 continents, which began on 7th April 2008 in the Falkland Islands (Antarctica), Rio, Brazil, (South America), Los Angeles, (North America), Sydney, (Australasia), Dubai, (Asia), Tunisia, (Africa), with the challenge ending in the Flora London marathon, (Europe), on 13th April 2008.

The challenge launched Dave into a new career as a “Motivational Speaker” with a diverse audience i.e. After Dinner, Corporate, Colleges, Schools, Special needs etc.

A fitting end to 2008 was Blind Dave and his running guide being acknowledged at the BBC Midlands Sports Awards as the winners of the “Outstanding sporting achievement of 2008".

2009 sees Dave becoming the Physical Activities Champion for Sandwell Council and an Ambassador for the Birmingham Half Marathon.  He was also acknowledged with an award by the High Sheriff of the West Midlands.  Since the challenge he has been involved with many charities, including running the first Birmingham half marathon for the Kidney Kids appeal with “Team Blind Dave” and the last Flora London Marathon with a personal best time of 3 hours and 24 minutes.

2010 - Appointed to the Board of Governors at QAC, Patron of Ideal for All and Ambassador to West Bromwich Albion Football club.

2011 - Top2Toe challenge ten days of running/cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End for Macmilliam Cancer Support.  Received West Bromwich Albion Players award “Contribution to the Community”.  10th consecutive Great North run.

In recognition of Dave’s charity work over the years he was invited to Buckingham Palace for a Christmas reception with the Queen, her summer garden party and also to a function at the House of Lords.   Honoured by the Wolverhampton University with an Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

2012 - 11th consecutive London Marathon.  Changing our Lives charity 240 miles bike ride.  Received 2 awards “Justgiving Endurance Fundraiser” and “Griffin Trophy”.  11th Honoury Freeman of the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell.  Took part in the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games 2012.

2013 events included:

  • 12th consecutive London marathon in April.
  • September - 7 in seven bike ride, 7 countries, in 7 days covering over 700 miles from Switzerland, into Germany, France, Luxemburg, Belgium, Holland and finally England and Birmingham New Street.

2014 - Wheels for Change 100k bike ride in aid of Unicef.  Aberdovey bike ride.  Coast to Coast Challenge East to West across England and through Ireland for Teenage Cancer.  13th Great North Run.  50 mile Gower Coast Run.

2015 - Dave completes 6 gruelling days running over 160 miles across the Sahara Desert for the Albion Foundation.

2016 - New year, new challenge; Escape from Alcatraz! Considered by many the toughest annual triathlon in the world this event tested Dave to his limits.

Dave’s book “From Light To Dark” was launched at Waterstones flagship store in Birmingham and a book signing tour was organised.

2017 - There are 24 Great runs in the 2017 series, starting January in Edinburgh and finishing November in Ethiopia  with a variety of distances including 5k, 10k, 10 miles, half marathons and marathons. Fundraising for The Albion Foundation, Dave will aim to complete the whole series.

Please take a moment to have a look on his website, www.blinddaveheeley.co.uk

John Hilbourne - Patron

John Hilbourne

John Hilbourne is visually impaired and latterly dyslexic. He has a slight hearing problem and suffers from visual agonisia. He was a Governor at the College between 1999-2018.

He was educated at Worcester College for the Blind and the London School of Economics where he studied sociology.  He taught in a number of universities holding a number of senior academic posts.  Between 1985 and 1993 he was HMI for further and higher education. Latterly he was an Assistant Director for the Higher Education Quality Council from which he retired in 1996.  Between 1996 and 2008 he worked as a Review Chair for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and also has an honorary Associate Professorship at Brunel University and an Honorary Visiting Professorship at Leeds Metropolitan University.

He has been Chairman of a Community Health Council and a Health Authority member. He is an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, and has an honorary DSc from the University of Brighton for his contribution to the education quality and quality assurance of the professions allied to Medicine.  He has been an HMI for Further & Higher Education, a registered Ofsted team member and a member of the national Low Vision Services working party.  He is a JP.  John has recently stepped down from being a trustee for Guide Dogs for the Blind. He has recently retired from the Chairmanship of the Governors at Queen Alexandra College and remains a trustee.

John is the author of several reports on quality enhancement issues in higher education and quality assurance in health care and the relationship between further and higher education in England and Scotland.

He is a Rotarian, a member of the Lunar Society, the Birmingham and Edgbaston Debating Society, U3A and The Birmingham Book Club.

Mikail Huggins - Patron

Mikail Huggins

Mikail Huggins is a former Paralympic Guide Runner for visually-impaired athlete Libby Clegg. Mikail and Libby were Gold medallists at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Silver medallists at the London 2012 Paralympics.  He joined QAC as a Patron in October 2016.

In 2015/16 Mikail worked with students at QAC in a variety of ways and governors at the college saw the impact and benefit this had on students. Using his experience in athletics, and his role as Mentor with The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Mikail was able to engage and inspire many of the students, some of whom showed little interest in their studies and/or sport.

Although no longer guide running, Mikail is still heavily involved in his athletic routes, coaching for Welsh Athletics and Team GB and working with local schools, clubs and individuals.


What the students say

The College has helped me to feel more confident and develop my independence. Staff are really helpful and provide lots of support whenever I need it.

Hardeep - 20

Information and Communication Technology Student

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