AJ Bell: Mark Gardner Award for Journalism

We are delighted to share the success of Mia Willemsen, the recipient of the newly instated Mark Gardner Award for Journalism, funded by AJ Bell. Mia, a third-year BA Hons Broadcast Journalism student, was honoured with this award for her outstanding writing skills. The AJ Bell Journalism Award, established in memory of a valued colleague, aims to recognize, and support aspiring journalists. Mia’s achievement not only highlights her talent but also reflects the dedication and hard work she has put into her studies.

Mia’s winning article, which you can read more about here, impressed the judges with its unique voice, insightful perspective, and engaging style. Her writing not only demonstrated a deep understanding of the subject matter but also showcased her ability to connect with audiences on a personal level. Daniel Coatsworth, Editor at AJ Bell, described her writing as, ‘honest and instantly full of personality.’  Daniel also went onto say, ‘The AJ Bell Mark Gardner Journalism Award was designed to recognise emerging talent at university level and to give the winner a step up by publishing their article in Shares magazine and by providing a financial contribution as they head towards graduation and put their studies and experience to work in a professional environment.

We were very impressed with Mia’s article. It was well-written, informative, and interesting. Mia has clearly thought about how money has shaped her life so far and how it will continue to do so. She referenced the importance of saving for the future while also engaging the reader with an honest and personal account on ADHD and the impact this can have on someone’s life. 

It was an honour to award Mia the AJ Bell Mark Gardner Journalism Award, and we wish her the best of luck with the rest of her university course and starting a career in journalism.’

The award ceremony was held on Friday 16 February at the Media City campus and was marked by speeches from university faculty and AJ Bell representatives. Paul Duckworth, one of Mias lecturer, who presented Mia with her award said, ‘This is great opportunity for Mia to not only get her work published in AJ Bell’s Shares magazine but also to be financially rewarded for her insightful and thoughtful words. Partnerships with our colleagues in industry are central to the work we do in Journalism through work placement and through fantastic schemes like this. Mia’s work will stand as a tribute to Mark Gardner and hopefully kick her start her career.’

This event not only celebrated Mia’s achievement but also highlighted the strong partnership between AJ Bell and the university. It underscored AJ Bell’s commitment to supporting education and fostering talent within the journalism field.

As Mia embarks on her journey as a budding journalist, we are confident that she will make significant contributions to the industry. We extend our congratulations to Mia Willemsen on this well-deserved prize, and express our gratitude to AJ Bell for their ongoing support and commitment to empowering the next generation of journalists.

As we continue to nurture and support our students, we look forward to witnessing more success stories like Mia’s in the future.

To find out more about the ways you can support our students at the University of Salford, visit Giving To Salford.