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Honorary Fellowships awarded at Leeds Trinity University

Nine outstanding individuals from across TV and radio broadcasting, music, literature, sport, business and policing have been awarded Honorary Fellowships at Leeds Trinity, recognising their contribution to the University community and wider world.

Leeds Trinity began awarding Honorary Fellowships in 2017 as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, to recognise excellence in a field associated with the work and values of the University.

This year, recipients receiving Honorary Fellowships from Leeds Trinity include a number of its exceptional alumni, who have been recognised for the impact they have made in their careers, their ambassadorship of the University, and the support and inspiration they have provided to students:

  • Broadcaster Richie Anderson (Journalism, 2009), who can be found broadcasting to millions of people every morning on the BBC Radio 2 Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, won the Royal Television Society Award in 2018 for ‘Best Short Form Presenter’ and ‘Outstanding New Talent’ for a short film featured on The One Show about homophobia in football. In 2020, he raised £877,000 for BBC Radio 2’s Sport Relief Challenge alongside presenter Jo Whiley and fellow Leeds Trinity alumna Reverend Kate Bottley.
  • Business leader Zee Faridi (Secondary PE and Sports Development, 2016), who has found great success in business alongside his charitable work. This includes co-owning Ezmuve Estate Agents, growing his investment company Novac Estate, launching Social Gap Media, and setting up a community focused enterprise dedicated to helping people from poverty-stricken backgrounds.
  • Poet and editor Ian Harker (Communication & Cultural Studies and Media, 2005), who has been shortlisted for the prestigious Troubadour and Bridport prizes. He is a co-founder of Strix, the Saboteur Award-nominated poetry and short fiction magazine, and an organiser of Leeds Lit Fest, who has also made a significant impact in the community through charity work undertaken to support asylum seekers.
  • Entrepreneur Rich Hayden (Media Production, 2000), whose creative and innovative approach has brought significant benefits to the region through his business and charity endeavours as Managing Director of Sevensun Marketing and Creative Agency, Director of independent publishing house Fisher King Publishing, and Director of The Do Good Gift Company, a social enterprise that provides an ecommerce platform for charities.
  • Broadcaster Lauren Layfield (Broadcast Journalism, 2010), a highly experienced TV presenter, journalist and radio DJ, who hosts Capital’s Early Breakfast Show. She is also known for her campaigning work, including the ground-breaking Newsround Special Let’s Talk About Periods, which was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award and prestigious International Emmy Award, and Let’s Talk About Sexism, in addition to covering a range of topical stories on programmes including The One Show.
  • Yard Act bassist Ryan Needham (Media, 2011), who – with the band – has achieved a meteoric rise in recent years, flying the flag for Leeds and Yorkshire around the world. Ryan returned to the Leeds Trinity campus last year before heading out on tour to share his advice with students, reminding them to choose wisely, be open to opportunities, and utilise their time and energy well to achieve their goals.

Masters athlete and record holder Tony Bowman, Chief Constable of the Isle of Man Constabulary and former Deputy Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police Russell Foster KPM, and business leader Richard Marchant – who made a significant and material contribution to the governance of Leeds Trinity as a member of the Board of Governors for nine years – were also awarded Honorary Fellowships for their extraordinary achievements and contribution to wider University life.

All received their Honorary Fellowships from Rt Hon Sir John Battle, Pro-Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University.

Professor Charles Egbu, Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University, said:

“I am delighted that Leeds Trinity has awarded Honorary Fellowships to such a range of inspirational individuals. Members of our Honorary Fellow community – both long-standing and those being recognised this year – have all contributed to the work of the University, earned distinction in their areas of expertise and inspired our students. We are privileged to enjoy their support and look forward to continuing to build these relationships in the future.”

Professor Catherine O’Connor, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Experience at the University, added:

“Our Honorary Fellowship community is extremely important to Leeds Trinity, with many providing support and expertise to enhance our students’ overall university experience. I look forward to helping these relationships develop even further, as this community grows.”

Leeds Trinity University holds an Honorary Fellowship ceremony to recognise the unique relationship with its Honorary Fellow community, which now stands at over 40 members.

For more information about the history of Leeds Trinity University and its alumni, visit the here

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