Inspirational Sheffield student wins award after launch of project raising awareness of mental health

A Sheffield College student has won an award for launching a social enterprise project to raise awareness of mental health.

Monday, 15th May 2017, 9:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th May 2017, 1:17 pm

Aimee Browes, 18, launched the Happiness Bootcamp on social media, and has given talks at schools and at a café in Sheffield on how she has overcome anxiety. The Facebook page for young people raises awareness of mental health, shares information and resources, and provides an opportunity to take part in discussions.

Now, Aimee has been rewarded for her efforts by being crowned the overall winner of The Sheffield College Student Enterprise Awards. The awards are backed by the Association of Colleges Yorkshire and Humber, and showcase learners who have demonstrated entrepreneurial skills in a range of ways.

Aimee said: “I am absolutely over the moon about winning this award – it was a real surprise! I’ve had fantastic support from my college tutors. They’ve made me realise that I can achieve my potential.”

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She explained: “I decided to give some talks in the city and launch an online Facebook page because I overcame extreme anxiety that interrupted my studies for a short time. What helped was finding the confidence to change what I was doing and study a course that was right for me rather than doing what was expected of me.

“I switched from A Levels to a vocational course, which I have really enjoyed. I’ve also become a personal trainer. I’ve got a place at university and will be doing exactly the same degree subject that I wanted to do when I was studying A Levels. I wanted to help others and raise awareness that they need to look after their mental and physical health, and that they can succeed.”

Aimee has just completed a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science, equivalent to three A Levels, at Hillsborough campus on Livesey Street. She is starting a psychology degree at Sheffield Hallam University this September.

Aimee clinched the social enterprise category and was also the overall awards winner and won £150 in gift vouchers. The four award categories were:

Launching a social enterprise campaign project to benefit others socially.

Launching a business start-up whilst studying at college.

Contributing to the student experience or teaching and learning in an innovative or entrepreneurial way.

Contributing an innovative idea during an apprenticeship, work experience or part time employment that has been adopted by an employer.

The other three category awards winners were Ross Claydon, Tia Fisher and Cameron Thomas. The winners received a £50 gift voucher, and the runners-up won a £30 gift voucher.

Heather Smith, Principal, The Sheffield College, said: “I want to congratulate all of the award winners on their success, and thank our staff for the inspirational learning experience that they provide to ensure our students reach their potential.”

The judges included experts from business and enterprise. They were Heather Smith, Principal of The Sheffield College; Greg Tipper, Enterprise and Awards Executive of The Prince’s Trust; Sheffield College alumnus Jack Crofts, Founder of Vicuña Royale; Lee Tinkler, Project Director at Carillion and Liz Yoxall, Enterprise Adviser for Sheffield, Enterprise Adviser Network.

Caroline Rowley, Regional Director, AoC Yorkshire and Humber, commented: “AoC is delighted to congratulate Aimee Browes on receiving The Sheffield College Enterprise Student of the Year Award. These awards recognise the wit, imagination, enterprise and innovation of college students across Yorkshire and the Humber. Aimee’s work impressively fulfils all of those criteria and she is to be congratulated on the Happiness Bootcamp. I wish her every success in both her studies and with her enterprising initiatives.”

To find out more about full-time courses starting in September 2017, visit or call 0114 2602600. For more information about The Happiness Bootcamp, visit