The judging panel were completely overwhelmed by the quality and diversity of the alumni nominated this year for the Leading Light Awards. Awards are given to King’s alumni in the UK and throughout the world who have made outstanding contributions to their community; have developed new ideas and services and have shown exceptional dedication, creativity and leadership. The awards are a celebration of alumni achievement and a demonstration of what can be achieved with the foundation of an excellent education. All at King’s are extremely proud of this year’s winners who are highlighted below!
Commitment to King’s Award
Adrian Ackroyd (OKS 1974)
Adrian has displayed exceptional commitment to the King’s community, adopting multiple roles in the CAOKS executive committee, most notably serving as CAOKS Hon Sec for 21 years. During this time, he has kept alumni in touch with the school and helped organise many engaging events. He has hosted lots of ‘stuffing sessions’ over the years and has done a brilliant job in keeping regular communication with alumni going. He played a key role in bringing CAOKS and the school Alumni Office closer together and the panel are delighted to award him with a Leading Light Award.
David Roberts (OKS 1963)
David coached at the rowing club on a volunteer basis, giving back to the King’s school and inspiring the next generation of King’s rowers. David is a great character and is highly respected by the athletes and coaches. He coached King’s Rowers whilst studying at Cambridge, returned from his job in New York as Henley coach 1966-1990 & took the 1st crews to The Head of Charles Regatta. He has made a hugely significant impact on the lives of King’s rowers over the decades, has inspired generations of rowers, and given up his own time to help pupils achieve their full potential and learn to enjoy the sport.
Young Leadership Award
Megan Pode (OKS 2015)
Alongside her Medicine degree, Megan started working as a relief healthcare assistant in A&E when the pandemic started. She also founded Medics&Me in 2020 – a fantastic resource that provides in-depth insight into the world of medical school and enables students from all backgrounds to have equal opportunities when applying to study medicine. Her aim is that every potential medical student from a widening participation background can feel supported and nurtured through the application process. She is also an advocate for ‘healthcare for the homeless’ and before the pandemic she volunteered her time to discuss topics such as first aid, nutrition and dental hygiene and helped prepare meals for the homeless. She is a great role model for aspiring medics and gives so much of her time to helping others.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award
Adi Kasliwal (OKS 2008)
After leaving King’s in 2008, Aditya gained a first-class engineering degree from University of Oxford and in 2014 he became a board member of the NHS innovation programme. During this time Aditya founded Speakset – ‘the world’s simplest remote care service’. In 2017, Aditya founded Personal Alarm Watch (PAW) – a watch that helps older people be more active and independent. He replaced traditional range-limited pendants with a discreet emergency watch that works anywhere in the UK and connects you to emergency help at a push of a button. Adi was chosen for Forbes 30 under 30 (Europe) list in 2016 and recently won two Social Care Awards in 2020 for his work.
Professional Achievement Award
Nickolas Grace (OKS 1962)
Nickolas trained at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama, and made his first West End appearance in 1970 in Trevor Peacock’s ERB at the Strand Theatre. Nickolas joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1972 and played in Stratford, London and New York. In 1975 he played Hamlet at Derby Playhouse, and then returned to the RSC 1976-78, performing alongside Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Beryl Reid and Roger Rees. He was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance in Bernstein’s Candide at the Old Vic and BBC TV in 1989.He is probably best known for his performance as the flamboyant Anthony Blanche in ITV’s Brideshead Revisited (BAFTA Nomination); and the evil Sheriff of Nottingham in ITV’s Robin of Sherwood (Ace Nomination).
Dr Anthony Jenner OBE (OKS 1966)
As a young general dental practitioner Anthony worked in an area of high unemployment and social need in Wales and this greatly influenced his future career in public health. Anthony worked in South Africa, helping work on dental health improvements for the most needy in society, as he has been seeking to do all his working life in the UK. He has been fortunate in his life and career and working alongside GCDF has helped him to repay society for what it has given him. He was appointed Deputy Chief Dental Officer for the Department of Health in 2005 and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours 2008 for services to the Department of Health.