HRH The Princess Royal recognises outstanding individuals at annual Palace Awards Ceremony

Three outstanding individuals have been recognised by the President of the City and Guilds of London Institute, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

Palace Awards Ceremony 2017

Renowned architectural sculptor, Nina Bilbey, received the prestigious Prince Philip Medal - first awarded 55 years ago by the Institute's former president, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to recognise those who have displayed outstanding individual achievement since completing their City & Guilds qualification.

Mark Barber, Academy and Qualification Design Manager at Securitas received the Highly Commended Certificate, and hospitality tutor Kristen Henderson received the President's Award in recognition of her work in delivering City & Guilds qualifications.

They received their awards at the City & Guilds Group's annual Palace Awards Ceremony, which took place this year at St James's Palace.

Awards programme

Find out more about our Awards Programme including the Palace Awards Ceremony, Fellowship and the Princess Royal Training Awards.

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Nina Bilbey

Nina received the Prince Philip Medal in recognition of her remarkable contribution to architecture. After completing a degree in Fine Art Sculpture, Nina began teaching art and ceramics to children and adults, before retraining and acquiring her City & Guilds Advanced Craft Diploma in Stonemasonry.

Nina rapidly established herself as a talented and much sought-after stonemason and stone carver. She has been involved in many incredibly challenging and ambitious restoration projects across the country, working on some of the UK’s most recognisable buildings including the Houses of Parliament.  

Nina also assisted with the design of various sculptures that decorated the Royal Barge for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

One of her most recent commissions has been the design and carving of two statues of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh for the front of Canterbury Cathedral. They were unveiled by the royal couple in March 2015 and are the first sculptures to depict them as a pair.

Commenting on her success of receiving the Prince Philip Medal, Nina said: Over the years I have been lucky enough to be trained by, and continue to work with, some of the most talented crafts people in the country. Today I not only get to carve, I get to train the next generation of students who have taken the leap of faith, following a dream to become a carver in stone. To be awarded the Prince Philip Medal is a wonderful surprise and a great honour. And I believe a testament to my families unwavering support, when many years ago I decided to chase an uncertain future. And most of all to those incredible individuals who generously shared their knowledge and skill, shaping me into the craftsperson I am today. I owe them a huge debt of thanks.’

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Mark Barber

Mark, from Northampton, was awarded for his exceptional contribution to vocational education and training. Mark started his career as a door supervisor over 20 years ago and realised very early on that high-quality training and assessments are critical but rare in the security sector. Mark harnessed his wealth of knowledge and set about transforming security education and training.

Throughout his career, Mark has gathered a broad range of experience and expertise – from planning and managing the protection of a Saudi Arabian royal wedding, to designing evacuation and dignitary protection protocols involving Her Majesty the Queen. Alongside this, he has also gained an impressive range of City & Guilds qualifications across teaching, management and security and he is affiliated with the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. 

In 2015 Mark joined Securitas – which has over 11,000 UK employees and 330,000 employees worldwide – with a brief to transform training standards. Through his hard work and dedication, Securitas now has a purpose-built City & Guilds accredited Academy in Milton Keynes, providing employees with industry leading training and development.

Commenting on receiving the Highly Commended Certificate, Mark said: ‘Reflecting on my career, it has always been a passion of mine to learn best practice from working alongside some of the most distinguished professionals in the security and policing industries. Working with City & Guilds and Securitas UK I have been given the opportunity to expand the skill sets of many colleagues working in the security industry, giving them the formal recognition they deserve. This in itself is hugely rewarding. To find out I have been awarded the Highly Commended Certificate was both a surprise and an honour. I am thrilled that we are starting to raise the profile of an industry, which is often overlooked, and which is at last gaining the recognition it truly deserves. It is with great pride that I accept this award and look forward to seeing how far we can lift the standards, and provide great career development opportunities in the future.’

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Kristen Henderson

Kristen is a highly respected mentor and lecturer at Lakefield Hospitality College. She was recognised for her tireless commitment to continually developing new ideas and finding innovative ways to educate her learners. Since completing her degree in Hospitality Management, Kristen has taught and assessed a wide range of subjects, from Professional Cookery and Accommodation, to Healthy and Safety and Level 4 Hospitality Management.

Determined to maximise her learners’ development, she has created a wide range of challenging activities, including competition work and an extensive e-learning programme.

Kristen has remained dedicated to promoting the hospitality industry as a sector with exciting and fulfilling career paths. She carefully designed The Art of Hospitality module, has forged excellent links with employers, and has opened up future job opportunities by offering invaluable work experience for her learners. Keen to encourage young people into the industry, she has also helped develop themed activity days for school children to experience what the hospitality sector is all about.

This is the second award Kristen has received from the City & Guilds Group, having recently been awarded the coveted City & Guilds Medal of Excellence. This year she also received the Professional Association for Catering Education’s Hospitality Lecturer of the Year. 

On hearing of being awarded the President’s Award, Kristen said: To receive such a prestigious award for a job I love doing is a great honour. For me, it reflects the training and formation I have myself received at Lakefield, and I hope I inspire future students to do the same.’