College librarian recognised in New Year’s Honours

Published: 31st December 2020

Published by City College Southampton

Richard Ashman, our Learning Resources Co-ordinator has received a British Empire Medal (BEM) for Services to Further Education in the 2021 New Year Honours List.

His award recognises his exceptional support and dedication to improving reading opportunities and levels of literacy for those who need it most. His innovative approaches has helped break down barriers to reading and has given students, of all ages, the confidence and pleasure in reading.

One of his many successes at the college includes creating Reading Aloud sessions for our students.  In these one to one and small groups sessions students are supported to practice and improve their reading skills. Richard did not let national lockdowns from continuing to support our students. He set-up video conferencing sessions and used digital books to enable his Reading Aloud groups to continue, and when digital books were not an option he personally delivered the books on his bike to students across the city.

Richard also supports students studying English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and thrives on helping parents, not just to learn for themselves but to enable them to read to their own children in English and help them with their homework.

About receiving his award Richard said, “I was stunned and delighted to hear that I was to receive an award on The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List. I firmly believe that reading on a regular basis makes a huge difference to your life and have dedicated my career to encouraging people to improve their lives and life opportunities by reading as widely as possible. It is hugely gratifying that my love of books and reading has had such an impact in both the College and wider community and that I have been nominated for this accolade.”

Sarah Stannard, Principal at City College, said: “Many, many congratulations to Richard.  This award is a wonderful recognition of the great work he does both with our College students and for the wider community.”