Old Waconian Awards


Each year we recognise accomplishments of our former pupils and the contributions they make to our CHS community.

Nominations for our 2022 Old Waconian Awards are now closed. If you have any questions about these awards please contact er@chschool.co.uk. Nominations for the 2023 awards will open in September 2022.

There are three categories of awards:-

  • Distinguished Old Waconian Award
  • Old Waconian Early Career Award
  • Old Waconian Contribution Award


The Distinguished Old Waconian Award recognises an OW’s sustained achievement over a long career.

  • Nominees will have a lifetime of outstanding contributions and achievement in one or more fields of endeavour.

  • They will be recognised within her/his community as a strong leader in their field.

  • They will be an exemplary role model to other Old Waconians.

  • They will embody the Waconian values of integrity, endeavour, resilience, compassion and contribution (evidence of at least one value should be given in the nomination).

  • Nominees may be past students or former staff.


The Old Waconian Early Career Award recognises exceptional accomplishment early in the nominees’ post school career.

  • Nominees must be former students who have left CHS within the last 15 years.

  • They will have demonstrated early career or community service achievements or displayed innovative practices in their field.

  • They will be inspiring role models for students and fellow early-career OWs.

  • They will embody the Waconian values of integrity, endeavour, resilience, compassion and contribution (evidence of at least one value should be given in the nomination).


The Old Waconian Contribution Award recognises an individual’s service and contribution to CHS.

  • Nominees must have demonstrated exceptional commitment and success in raising the profile of CHS and/or improving the experience of those within the CHS community.
  • This may include but not necessarily be limited to delivering talks at CHS, providing work experience opportunities for current Waconians, fundraising for the Bursary Fund, mentoring current pupils or OWs, volunteering at key CHS events including Open Days and OW events and supporting other OWs.

  • Nominees may be past pupils or former staff.

Previous Old Waconian Award winners

Distinguished Old Waconian Award – Steve Redhead, Class of 1975

Since 2006, Steve has been instrumental in making the CHS Politics trip to Washington, DC one of the highlights of the Sixth Form calendar. Many students identify it as their best CHS memory and those in 2012, who watched open mouthed as President Obama wandered past them in the White House, will certainly never forget it! The trip’s itinerary remains a closely guarded secret – lots of Schools head out to Washington, DC and get the standard tours, but very few have been in the White House, met staffers in the Committee Rooms of Congress, or spent time in the Maryland state house in Annapolis. Seeing Steve engage with the students as he finds out about their lives and plans, it is clear that the values he developed in the 1970s are the same as those being developed by our Sixth Form students today. His contribution plays a big role in helping create a Politics department full of engaged, passionate and excited students.

Steve recalls how it all began, “Out of the blue I received a phone call in the fall of 2006 from Steve Pagan at Cheadle Hulme School. He told me he was bringing a group of sixth formers to Washington DC – where I have lived and worked since the 1980s – and was hoping we could meet up. I had no idea at the time that this would be the beginning of a new relationship with CHS. Every two years since then, Nick Axon and I have teamed up to plan the Washington DC trip, always looking to add exciting new items to the itinerary. It’s been tremendous fun and a lovely way to give back to the School that defined my childhood and helped launch me into the world.”

Young Alumni Award 2020 – Aimee Wood, Class of 2012

Aimee is an actress working between the UK and the U.S who has already achieved great success on stage and screen. Despite her busy schedule she has taken time out to return to CHS to speak to current drama students about her experiences and to offer them advice.

Outside of her work on screen she is also publicly addressing issues in her interviews that are relevant to young people, including body dysmorphia, eating disorders, bullying and sexual harassment, showing real compassion for those who are affected by the storylines she acts in.

Distinguished Old Waconian Award -Cathy Simpson, Class of 1972, Former Staff 1978-1987

Young Alumni Award -Rachel Gunn, Class of 2013



Distinguished Old Waconian Award -Dr Stephen (Steff) Nash,  Class of 1970

Young Alumni Award – Dr Jessica Gray, Class of 2012

Distinguished Old Waconian Award -Terry Allsop, Class of 1959

Young Alumni Award – Bronte Law, Class of 2013

Distinguished Old Waconian Award -Dr Olayinka Koso-Thomas, Class of 1954

Young Alumni Award – Made From Manchester – Callum Ballantine, Zach Sadri, Jonny Green, Samir Kamani, Jamie Gray, Luke Grimshaw, Alice Needham and Matthew Heath, Class of 2014

Distinguished Old Waconian Award -Dr Stuart Warren, Class of 1957

Young Alumni Award – Jack Sheen, Class of 2011

Distinguished Old Waconian Award – Jim Gardner, Class of 1938

Young Alumni Award – Lucy Nuttall, Class of 2006

Distinguished Old Waconian Award -Peter Bullock, Former Staff

Young Alumni Award – Kit Yates, Class of 2003

Distinguished Old Waconian Award -Lord Alf Dubs, Class of 1951

Young Alumni Award – Cat Dunlop, Class of 2002