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NewVIc Staff member recognised as ‘Hero' at St James' Palace

London Metropolitan University's Big Idea Challenge 2017 came to an inspiring conclusion on Monday 24 April during a special awards ceremony at St James's Palace, hosted by His Royal Highness, The Duke of York, KG. The Challenge is one of the fastest-growing enterprise competitions in the UK, and seeks solutions to the key problems facing society today.

The overall winner of the Big Idea Challenge was ‘Fresh Start: the bus that changes lives', developed by London Metropolitan University International Relations students Valeria Kormysh, Jesus Diaz and Oriol Iglesias Grau. Fresh Start is a social enterprise that aims to transform a classic London bus into a mobile support centre for the capital's homeless - complete with showers and other resources.

Although the two student teams that NewVIc fielded at the competitions didn't win a prize, a special award was presented to Dr Steven Kern, NewVIc's Student Development Leader. A surprised Steven was called from the audience to be presented with the Staff Hero trophy by Prince Andrew. The accolade recognises the partnerships he has made externally, but also the way he has incorporated enterprise into the curriculum at college, getting students from all levels trading at markets - all done with enthusiasm and positivity.

Stephen said: "It was a real shock and an honour to get the award from Prince Andrew and it been wonderful working with the 200+ NewVIc students who we have engaged in real time business enterprise opportunities and business start-ups over last few years."

The Duke said: "The Big Idea Challenge brings learning and enterprise environments together to create ideas that can grow. This is the epitome of what enterprise and entrepreneurship is all about.

I'd like to thank London Metropolitan University and all of those involved in this project for the positive difference they are making."