Lisa came to national prominence in 1996 when she was working as a nursery nurse at St Luke’s School in Blakenhall, Wolverhampton. A man armed with a machete burst into the school grounds and attacked children, parents and Lisa.
Lisa sustained numerous injuries while trying to protect the children in her care. She was awarded over 20 local and national awards for her bravery including the George Medal.
The ceremony on Friday, 5 September 2008 however, was to recognise the recent charitable work she has undertaken. Determined that something positive would come from the experience, she founded Believe to Achieve (B2A) to help the same community affected by the attack.
Lisa received her award at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton at the ceremony for the University’s School of Applied Sciences
, along with University Chancellor The Lord Paul of Marylebone, Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline Gipps, Dean Professor John Darling and around 400 graduating students.
B2A had previously linked up with the School of Applied Sciences when psychology experts undertook research looking into the affect of the project within the community, with very positive results.
Lisa said: “It is a great honour to receive this fellowship, not only because this is the University of Wolverhampton, but because it’s the city where I was born and educated.
“I wanted to be able to put something back into the community and that’s where the idea for Believe to Achieve came from.”
Professor Darling said: “B2A is now recognised as a charity that makes a positive difference to children’s lives. We are delighted to honour Lisa’s achievements.”
The aim of B2A is to raise self-esteem and achievement to help children and their families realise their full potential, working mainly with youngsters aged seven-11 at five schools. There are mentoring programmes, play work and creative opportunities and more than 1,500 children have been helped by the charity.
Parents also benefit from B2A, with support and guidance to explore techniques that have a positive impact on family dynamics, as well as organised trips.
The University's presentation of an honorary award to Lisa Potts was featured on BBC Midlands Today. View video clip: Lisa Potts - BBC Midlands Today.
Lisa with her Honorary Fellowship.
L-R Chairman of Governors John Sharples, Chancellor The Lord Paul of Marylebone, Lisa Potts, Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline Gipps and Professor John Darling, Dean of the School of Applied Sciences.
For more information or additional photographs please contact Emma Kilvert in the press office on 01902 322003.