Social Work graduate receives new award in memory of Amani Liaquat

Mon 28 November, 2022
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An award created in memory of a Social Work student and brain tumour awareness campaigner has been presented to its first recipient during the University of Bedfordshire’s November graduation ceremonies.

Amy Pates, a Social Work Apprenticeship graduate, was the recipient of the first ever Amani Liaquat Award, set up by the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences (HSS) this year in honour of late Masters student, Amani.

After her diagnosis, Amani Liaquat campaigned tirelessly to improve care and research into brain cancers while she battled the inoperable grade four glioblastoma, becoming an advocate and fundraiser for the charity Brain Tumour Research. In June 2021, she declared: “I may be terminally ill but that has just made me even more determined to make a change in this world. I want to be able to say I am proud of what I did with the time I was given.”

Amani was awarded her Master of Science in Applied Social Welfare with Distinction at a bedside graduation ceremony arranged by the University just six days before she passed away in February 2022.

Speaking about receiving this award in Amani’s memory, Amy Pates said: “It was very unexpected so it’s really lovely. To hear the legacy behind this award was very special, so I’m honoured to be the first person to receive it in Amani’s name.”

Amani’s parents, Yasmin and Khuram, were present at the ceremony and witnessed Amy being presented with the award.

After the ceremony, Yasmin said: “We’re really honoured by the award and it’s great to see Amy receive it. It’s very bittersweet for us so it was very emotional, but at the same time we just feel absolutely honoured and so grateful to the University of Bedfordshire for honouring our daughter in this way and keeping her memory alive, which is so important to us.”


There were a number of other award prizes presented to HSS graduates at the November celebrations, held between 15-18th November.

Children & Young People’s Nursing graduate, Rachel Clements, celebrated winning the Dr Tony Wood Award, which is awarded to the most outstanding final-year student in the field of healthcare.

After receiving her prize, Rachel said: “I was so honoured to win this award. As a mum of four, juggling home life and studying for my degree was often tricky and not without sacrifice. The Dr Tony Wood prize is an acknowledgment of the hard work I put in to my course, and I’m grateful for that recognition and proud of the high grades I achieved. I’ve now got my dream job in Paeds A&E – every day continues to be a learning day and that’s one of the many things I love about it!”

Lucy Leanne Robins was awarded the Stephanie O’Kane Award for Innovation in Maternity Care. The accolade was introduced in 2019 in memory of Bedfordshire alumna Stephanie and the contribution she made to maternity care in the local area.

Graduate Hannah Abbey was also named this year’s recipient of the local Freemasons organisation’s Martin Foss Award – named after a former surgeon and Provincial Grand Master for Bedfordshire – which is presented each year to a Nursing or Midwifery student who has made the greatest contribution to their School.


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