Students, staff and businesses reflect on why they love Suffolk New College
Suffolk New College staff and students are feeling the love this week as part of a national campaign to promote the positive impact that colleges continually have in their communities.
Love Our Colleges week was set up by the Association of Colleges (AoC) in 2016 to help shine a light on the achievements of individuals and organisations working in the sector.
(This year, it (Love Your Colleges Week) is taking place between 17 and 21 October 2022).
In addition to promoting the business links ups, community projects and individual success stories, the AoC also set up a competition called ‘show your skills’ where learners from across the country can send photos and videos of themselves showcasing their talents.
In terms of showing skills, Suffolk New College performing arts students created a dance, catering learners from the College restaurant called Chefs’ Whites prepared a meal for over 40 guests with Adam Spicer from Retreat East and health students took part in giving individuals basic medical checks to others.
In terms of why students love the College, Louis Hobbs, 17, from Ipswich is on a level two performing arts course. Louis said; “It’s a welcoming place and the people and the teachers are nice. Also, I have always wanted to become an actor and I think I can achieve that dream by coming here. Last year our students performed at the National Theatre and I hope to do the same next year.”
Student, Katrina Riley, 33, from Ipswich is on a level three professional chef course. Katrina said: “I love the College because all the teachers, all the students – everyone makes every single day worthwhile.”
The head chef from Retreat East also backed the campaign. He employed a former student (Colin Harris) in his restaurant earlier this year. Adam said: “Colleges are massively important. They give the foundations and produce top quality graduates like Colin.”
Andreea Ion, 17, from Ipswich is on a level three health and social care level. Andreea said: “Teachers treat with you respect and the courses are good. I think the skills I am getting here will help me achieve my goal of becoming a mental health nurse.”
Sophia Harris, 22 from Ipswich is also on a level three health and social care course. Sophia said: “The College is very welcoming and it has made me feel at ease going back to education at the age of 22.
I didn’t like school and this has made me have a different outlook. Here (Suffolk New College) is so much better and so supportive. It’s helped my confidence.”
At the Suffolk Rural campus of the College, horticultural learners visited Glemhall Hall in the East of the county where they got the chance to look around the historic gardens with a view to supporting a number of maintenance projects there in the future. This project is one of a number of ongoing business collaborations that the College is involved in.
And student, Wayne Cool, 48, from Ipswich (who also studies horticulture), praised the College for supporting him with his mental health.
Wayne has been volunteering as a technician in the greenhouses in addition to studying, said: “. Being a volunteer has built up a routine and I’m finding it very helpful. Once I’m here, I’m focussing on plants and tasks. There is always something to do and it has really benefitted me.”
In addition to that, Wayne said: “I love the College because it’s friendly, there are lots of people here who are trying to better their lives, there are no judgements or discrimination and people really do care. It has opened my eyes up to the fact that there is a world out there.”
Head of marketing at the College, Craig Shimmon, said: “As a former teacher of music here, I’ve seen the benefit that further education can have on individuals. Not just in terms of gaining qualifications, but also in relation to building confidence, offering support and helping people realise their dreams and ambitions.
“That’s why it is always a pleasure to support this great ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign.”