Students speak of inspirational figures at untold heroes event

West Suffolk College

Ellisha Soanes, West Suffolk College's equality, diversity and inclusion coordinator, and Sophie Ashcroft, a health and social care student from Newmarket - Credit: West Suffolk College

Inspirational figures from the black community told their stories at West Suffolk College's Untold Heroes. 

Bury St Edmunds equality coordinator Ellisha Soanes has succeeded in pushing for black history to be taught all year round in the wake of George Floyd's death. 

Imani, Ellisha and Karen

Imani, Ellisha and Karen received a certificate of appreciation and trophy for attending - Credit: West Suffolk College

She has pushed this further with Untold Heroes talks with guests like Leroy Logan and Alex Wheatle whose stories were made into a BBC film series called ‘Small Axe’, directed by Oscar winner Steve McQueen. 

Others involved included footballer Ruel Fox, Franstine Jones, the first-ever woman to be elected as the president of the National Black Police Association and Wooden Roots – whose music was used in the Black Panther Marvel film.

Ellisha Soanes, the college’s equality, diversity and inclusion coordinator, said: “The speakers have proven that you can go through trials and tribulations in life but you can overcome them."

Ellisha Soanes and Roland Gilberston, venture capitalists

Ellisha Soanes and Roland Gilberston, venture capitalist - Credit: West Suffolk College

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Sophie Ashcroft, a 16-year-old health and social care student from Newmarket, said: “I think it’s important that we learn about equality and diversity as everyone is equal. Next year I want to work with Ellisha and support more events like this. She is an inspiration.”

All of the talks were recorded and will be available to watch via

Esther Ruse

Former student Esther Ruse who sang at the event - Credit: West Suffolk College

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