A trip to the big smoke

Yesterday was a looong day. I was photographing the 2012 National BTEC Awards which began with a Parliamentary Reception at the House of Lords and went on to a glitzy ceremony at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London.

Such an inspiring and life-affirming day. If anyone was ever in any doubt that vocational qualifications are worthwhile (Mr Gove, I’m looking at you…) then yesterday blew the roof off that misconception. From start to finish the day was full of inspirational stories of hard-working students, creative and passionate teachers and tutors and outstanding apprenticeship providers. I had a lump in my throat for most of the day…

As befitting an event of this stature, there were some great speakers and lots of MPs around to photograph. Getting through security at the House of Lords is amusing, particularly when trying to pass through tiny turnstiles with mountains of gear, but it turns out armed police do have a sense of humour and all worked out well in the end.

Lots of photographs from the day but here are a couple of Reggie Yates, the compere for the day and Tim Campbell, the winner of the first series of The Apprentice who has done sooo much more than that and is a truly remarkable and inspiring man.

Please can I have this gig next year too?!