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Hopwood Hall College appoints new Chair and Vice Chair to its Corporation Board

@HopwoodHall College and University Centre has appointed two highly esteemed new members to its Corporation Board.

Gary Buxton MBE, who established the Young Advisors Charity, has been named Chair Designate and will assume the role of Chair in June 2024.

He will succeed current Chair Nazir Afzal, who is stepping down from the post after six years.

In addition, Benjamin Ward has been appointed as Vice Chair Designate and will take up the role in June.

Benjamin, who is the Chief Executive Officer for University of Manchester Students’ Union, will succeed current Vice Chair Clive Reid.

The two designates both bring a wealth of experience to the Board at Hopwood, which has campuses in Middleton and Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

The appointments come during a very momentous time for the college after it was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize.

Gary, who was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to the young people of England, and Benjamin, who is a Trustee of Manchester Literature Festival, were recruited via Peridot using funding by a grant from the Department for Education. 

Julia Heap, Principal and CEO of Hopwood Hall College and University Centre, said:

“I’m so excited to be welcoming both Gary and Benjamin to our ambitious Corporation Board.

“These two appointments both bring an incredible amount of insight, expertise and experience and we’re really looking forward to all the ways in which they will help us build upon the huge momentum we have at Hopwood Hall College.

“I’d like to send a heartfelt ‘thank you’ on behalf of colleagues, students and stakeholders to both Nazir and Clive for their many years of service and the work they’ve done over the years to ensure the college has experienced so much success.”

Nazir Afzal, Outgoing Chair of the Corporation, said:

“When I became Chair of Hopwood Hall College we were strangers and now as I leave six years later, it feels like family.

“The college is thriving, winning awards – including the highest honour in education, the Queen’s Anniversary Prize – and developing learners who others may have left behind.

“I am delighted that my successors are committed to continuing the journey to excellence.”

Clive Reid, Outgoing Vice Chair of the Corporation, said:

“I would not have thought that when I was asked to be a Lay member of the Audit Committee many years ago I would eventually become Vice Chair of the Governing body.

“Now that my term of office is coming to an end, I am pleased to have seen the development of the college and the improved reputation it has in the community, region and indeed nationally.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my involvement with Hopwood Hall and look forward to watching it on its continued path to distinction under the new Chair and Vice Chair, together with the excellent leadership of the Principal Julia Heap.”

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