Prestigious Queens Honour for Oaklands College Technician

11 June 2018

Oaklands College are thrilled to announce one of their long serving members of staff has been recognised in the Queens 2018 Birthday Honours List.

Carpentry and Joinery Technician Peter Templeman has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for Services for Technical Education. Peter, who has been employed at the College’s St Albans Campus for 21 years, shares his passion for wood craft and wood working with thousands of students mastering skills for their future careers.

Many in the local community in Hertfordshire and surrounding areas will know Peter for his community work, using his considerable skills and expertise to design and create nostalgic handmade wooden games and puzzles to raise funds for local charities.

To date he has created over 100 wooden games and puzzles including many old favourite that capture the imagination such as Tiddlywinks, Tilt Mazes, Penny Rolls, a Coconut Shy and more. Sparking the interest of the young and old alike, Peter showcases his wooden games compendium at College community events and also spends much of his free time to bring his beautifully crafted toys and games to wider community events, fairs and celebrations.

Over the years Peter’s reputation has grown to be a local ambassador for practical woodworking skills. He is particularly keen to support organisations that help children with special needs develop their creativity and confidence. By encouraging children to handle the toys and sharing how he creates them, the toys nurture creative thinking, maths skills, scientific investigation, physical development and co-ordination, developing language and vocabulary. 

On hearing he had been awarded the BEM, Peter said: When one wins an award you are asked how you feel and the answer is shock, surprise, pleasure, why me, in equal measure. I am also asked what it means to you. This is much easier to answer.

“Everyone comes to work every day looking for the same thing – validation, that what you do is of value, is worthwhile, that what you are doing every day is making a difference in the lives of the students.  Being given this award from Her Majesty the Queen is perhaps the ultimate validation.”

College Principal Zoe Hancock said:  “The Queens Honour list brings together the great and the good across the country, and we nominated Peter in hope of being able to share the impact of his work far and wide beyond those that work with him in College. We are very proud of his success.”