'Shocked' and 'overwhelmed' Sutton principal made OBE in New Year's Honours list

The principal of Sutton’s Academy Transformation Trust Further Education (ATTFE) has spoken out of her shock at being announced as an Officer of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours List.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 10:30 pm

Liz Barrett has been principal at ATTFE, which has campuses at Sutton Community Academy, The Dukeries Academy and Portland College, for five years and is passionate about lifelong learning and further education.

Having spent more than twenty years working in further education and working alongside Ashfield District Council, as well as volunteering at Let’s All Eat to provide food for Sutton residents, Liz has been honoured for her services to education.

47-year-old Liz admits she feels ‘extremely humbled’ but says her impact on the community would not be possible without her wonderful colleagues who are equally as passionate about embedding lifelong learning into the local community.

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Liz Barrett pictured at the Ashfield Community Awards receiving her Ashfield Citizen of the Year award, which was presented by Theresa Hodgkinson from Ashfield District Council and paralympic athlete Ollie Hynd.

She explains: “I’m in complete shock, if I’m being honest I feel extremely overwhelmed by the news.

"I’ve always been very passionate about further education and embedding education into people’s lives.

“This means a huge amount to me, I feel very humbled to say the least.

"I would like to thank my family and friends who have always supported me and, of course, my wonderful colleagues both past and present who are all just as passionate as I am about learning opportunities in the community.”

Liz Barrett, back row, centre, pictured with her ATTFE colleagues.

Another of Liz’s passions is the work she does with Let’s All Eat foodbank, who mobilised at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

They work alongside Ashfield District Council and GPs in the area and, as well as providing food parcels to families in need, also use it as a tool to offer learning opportunities, such as cookery classes or budgeting education.

Liz continues: “We started Let’s All Eat at the start of the pandemic in order to help those suddenly finding themselves out of work.

"Unfortunately there is still a huge need for us in the area, and we currently see around 230 referrals a week to our services, which is a huge number.

"We like to offer doorstep learning alongside food parcels to those who might benefit from them.

"Embedding the message of further education in our community is such a huge part in all we do.”

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