College campuses feel the love for national education campaign

College campuses feel the love for national education campaign

Four educational establishments in Suffolk are feeling the love for a campaign that is celebrating the positive impact of colleges across the country.

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 this sector. (It’s taking place between 19 and 23 October 2020).

In support of this campaign, various representatives from Suffolk New College, Suffolk New College On The Coast (that has campuses in Halesworth and Leiston), and Suffolk Rural (formerly Otley College) have been having their say.

This year the campaign is keen to recognise the positive impact that colleges have made in terms of the economy, industry and also in terms of supporting the community during COVID.

At Suffolk New College in Ipswich, a sizable amount of PPE was donated to the community and many staff signed up to become NHS volunteers.

The college has also just hosted their annual student celebration awards to shine a light on student achievement during the last 12 months.

Winners included a 47 year old from Ipswich (Jamie McLeod) who is retraining to become a chef after a career in social work and former media student, Sade Simmons, finished her course at the college in June and she has just secured a job in the department where she used to be a student.

Marketing manager, Craig Shimmon, said: “Whilst the majority of our students tend to be 16 to 18, we always support people of all ages as they look to gain new skills as part of a career change. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who you are, if you come to us and need support and advice, we are here to help you become the best you can be.

At Suffolk New College On The Coast – in Leiston, students have been discussing why they love their college so much.

Toby Clayton from Aldringham is studying on a games design course. The 17 year old, said: “I love my college because of the people I’ve met and the support that I get.”

16 year old Sarah Smith from Sudbourne is studying on a health and social course. She said: “I love my college because I’m getting lots of advice about different careers. It’s near to home and I’m getting the skills I need to get the career that I want.”

Back in the east of the county, students at Suffolk New College On The Coast in Halesworth, are settling into a facility that only just opened in September 2020.

Centre manager at Halesworth, Julie Patel, said: Colleges offer vocational courses that help people get ready for work. They give every student an opportunity to succeed and the value of colleges should never be under-estimated in my opinion.”