Carol Francis has received an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Gloucestershire.
Carol, who was appointed as a local Magistrate in 1989, made local history by being elected the first black female city councillor of the Eastgate Ward in Gloucester. In July 2001, she made history again by becoming the first Black Sheriff and Deputy Mayor of Gloucester City. Carol was the 870th Sheriff of Gloucester.
In March 2006, Carol was awarded a lifetime achievement award by Community Counts which was voted for by the community. In October 2007, The Church of God Seventh Day awarded Carol an award in recognition of outstanding contribution to community development. In March 2008, Carol was asked to join a task force set up by Harriet Harman, the then deputy Prime Minster, to encourage more Black Asian and Minority Ethnic women into public Service. Carol represented the South West of England.
In October 2008 Carol received an award from The Association of Jamaican Nationals for her contribution to the development of the Jamaican Community and other Nationals in the UK and overseas. In 2011 Gloucester City Homes (GCH) presented Carol with an award for Community recognition.
Presenting her with her Honorary Fellowship, Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire, said: "She has truly blazed a trail in our community, making history by being the first black woman ever to hold the positions she attained. Let us hope that many others will be inspired by her example. Because if more people follow where Carol has led, we will achieve a fairer, better society, where opportunities are open to all. Where it is a person's talent, energy and commitment that count, not the accidents of birth or background."
Carol said: "This honorary fellowship it is an unexpected delight to receive and I would like to give my humble thanks to the University of Gloucestershire, the Honorary Awards Committee and to those who nominated me for this award."
Carol currently volunteers with Gloucester FM presenting a range of different programmes. She is a resident representative on the Ryecroft Approved Premises Community Liaison Group and is employed by Gloucestershire County Council. Carol is also a wife, mother of two and grandmother to three. She continues to sit as a Magistrate.
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About the University of Gloucestershire
The University of Gloucestershire gained official university status in 2001 but has existed as an educational establishment for nearly 200 years. Our heritage lies in the Mechanics Institutes of the 1830s, with our Francis Close Hall campus founded in 1847 as the Cheltenham Training College.
Today, we have three thriving campuses, Francis Close Hall and The Park in Cheltenham, and Oxstalls in Gloucester, which are occupied by approximately 10,000 students. In 2010, the University invested £5 million in teaching facilities including a new, state-of-the-art media and art and design studios.
The University of Gloucestershire delivers approximately 100 undergraduate course choices including accounting, law, business and management, fine art, TV production, humanities, leisure and tourism, social work and education plus and a diverse range of postgraduate and research degrees, and professional courses. For more information visit www.glos.ac.uk
Source: University of Gloucestershire