LeftLion Founders Win The 'Nottingham Award'

Photos: Luke Brennan
Monday 10 October 2022
reading time: min, words

Al Gilby and Jared Wilson, two of the founders of LeftLion magazine, were recognised for their contribution to the city of Nottingham at the 2022 Nottingham Awards.


The Nottingham Awards which were held at Nottingham’s Council House on Thursday 6 October, usually take place annually but were back for the first time since 2019 because of Covid-19. 

They first ran in 2012 and in the past a number of notable local people have received the Nottingham Award, including Jim Taylor, the man behind the city’s tram; Derek Brewer, former cricketer and chief executive of Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club; Sat Bains, the Michelin-starred chef and restaurant owner; the Kanneh-Mason family and George Akins, the Managing Director of DHP Family, whose charitable work includes Beat The Streets.

Four new awards were made on the night for 2022. They were given to:

Cressida Laywood
A fundraiser for Nottingham Women's Aid who survived a near-fatal brain haemorrhage which led to her being partially paralysed and with a speech and language disability called aphasia. She went on to found Aphasia Nottingham, a support group to bring people together with the condition.

John Dexter
Long-standing headteacher at Nottingham’s Trinity School, a Catholic secondary school and sixth-form in Aspley. The school is particularly well-known for the emphasis it places on music, encouraging every student to play an instrument. His former pupils include the Kanneh-Mason children.


Summaya Mughal
Born and raised in Bestwood, Summaya won the award for her ‘Brown Gal Can’t Swim’ campaign, learning to overcome her fear of swimming and encouraging other members of the South Asian community to do so too. By day she is a presenter on BBC Radio Leicester, having trained at the Television Workshop and won a BBC Nottingham contest to find the next new star presenter. She also used to work for LeftLion – big up Summaya!

Alan Gilby and Jared Wilson
Yes, two of our founders*! Two old schoolfriends who in September 2003 set live a website that went on to spawn a magazine and become Nottingham’s go-to place for cultural and events information. 152 issues and nineteen years later we're still going strong. 

Councillor Adele Williams, Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council, attended the awards and said: “We are a city with great success sitting alongside real need. Nottingham people excel in many fields and can often be seen supporting others who haven't yet had the same success. We also celebrate those who have overcome circumstances beyond their control.

“Every winner of this award has been chosen because they have made a significant and lasting contribution to Nottingham locally, nationally and internationally. They reflect a broad range of people that the city is rightly very proud of.”

* It's at this point we want to point out there were three original founders of LeftLion. The third, Timmy Bates, is still good mates with Jared and Al, but left the company in 2006 to pursue his interest in DJing and fireworks. 

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